The Private Duty Home Care Advisory Board is made of some of the most experienced and talented leaders in the private duty community. Each of our Advisory board members is committed to the mission and vision of the organization and ensuring our members are well represented and receive the tools, support, and resources you need to provide the highest quality and caliber care and services to your clients and families.
In our reoccurring Advisory Board Profile series we invite you to get to know our advisory board members better through a short Q&A interview, and learn more about why they choose to dedicate their professional lives to the private duty home care community.
Last week, we introduced you to Cristin Toscano, Chief Operating Officer at BAYADA Home Health Care. This week, we have the pleasure of sharing a little more with you about Maxine Hochhauser, President- Home and Community Based Services, LHC Group Inc.
Maxine, tell me about how you would describe what you do to someone you just met.
I work in health care providing non-medical services to individuals in their place of residence. This includes services to assist them with their activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, grooming) as well as other activities that support their ability to stay in the home.
Tell me about how you ended up working in private duty home care. How did your professional journey bring you to where you are today?
I started out as a physical therapist working at Rusk, Institute for Rehab Medicine. We provided post discharge therapy privately for many patients; this was introduction to the home health sector of health care. I left there to go to a Hospital based home health agency as their Director of Rehabilitation and left there 10 years later with responsibilities over all of the non-medical departments related to patient flow. From there I went to a Nursing Home sponsored organization that provided all aspects of post-acute care: skilled nursing homes, home health, hospice, home and community based services, low -income housing and Medicaid managed care. I left there 12 years later as the EVP/COO. I went to a VNA as the CEO, followed by a private equity backed home health organization. I transitioned into the HCBS sector when I went to Addus as the COO and currently I am at LHC as the President, HCBS.
Why choose private duty home care? Why not something else or some other part of home care?
Went I chose to go to Addus, I did so as I believe that personal care in the home will increasingly become an integral part of supporting individuals remaining in the home. While all sectors of home health, hospice and home care will face regulatory and reimbursement headwinds I believe that personal care is uniquely positioned as a lower cost option to achieve the outcomes that are needed to reduce hospitalizations and skilled nursing home placements. Personal care workers spend more time with clients than most other providers of care and have the ability, if trained to look for early changes in condition.
What do you find to be the most rewarding about your job?
I love working with people and supporting them in allowing them to be in the place of residence that they want to be in. The ability to optimize someone’s independence is important to me.
Conversely, what do you find to be most challenging?
Ensuring that we have the availability of staff to provide all of the care that is needed. There are many locations throughout the country where need has been identified and there are just not sufficient resources to meet the needs.
What is your favorite memory working in home care? Why?
Going to a client’s home in NY with a very high-ranking State senator and having the client pull out his cable bill and discuss it with the Senator. The Senator got a new appreciation for all of the types of support that caregivers provide in the home. The Senator wound up staying for way over an hour speaking with the client.
What is the one thing that keeps you up at night professionally?
The safety of our staff who are out visiting. Throughout my career, we have always provided care to clients irrespective of where they lived and their home accommodations. I have been woken up many times over my career with safety issues that have occurred.
What made you first get involved with NAHC and Private Duty Home Care at NAHC?
I served on the NAHC Board of Directors back when I was focused on the home health sector. I have always been involved with State and National Associations as I believe it is our obligation as leaders to work with Associations to help shape the industry.
What would you say to someone considering becoming a NAHC Private Duty Home Care member?
Go for it, your input is needed.
What would you say to someone who was considering a career in private duty home care?
Do it if it is your passion. There is a lot of work with a lot of rewards.
On behalf of everyone at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, we thank Maxine for her detailed and candid responses. We are honored to have her as a distinguished member of the PD Advisory Board and thank her for her dedication, commitment, and passion to the Private Duty home care community.