by Kristin Rowan, Editor

NAHC President Bill Dombi announced at last week’s CAHSAH annual meeting and expo that he would end his tenure at NAHC and retire at the end of 2024. We reached had an interview with Dombi on Thursday, May 23rd. He said he was not prepared to speak yet about his upcoming retirement, but we should hear more about that soon.

In the meantime, he provided additional details from his session at CAHSAH. We also discussed updates on the lawsuit against CMS and the status of the merger between NAHC and NHPCO. Tim’s article from last week talks about Dombi’s progress with Senator Wyland.

Ongoing Litigation

When we last spoke with Bill, he told us about the lawsuits filed against CMS. The suit claims that the budget-neutral calculations were based on faulty data and outdated software. These calculations determined the reimbursement rate reductions. Dombi explained the process for those lawsuits.

“The first round of the battle is around whether the court has the power to hear the case either at all or at that point in time. The courts are littered with litigation that have been dismissed on jurisdictional grounds,” Dombi offered. The court dismissed the lawsuit and the case is now closed. The Department of Justice (DoJ) attacked jurisdiction to get the case dismissed. Most concerning, according to Dombi, was the DoJ’s question of whether the statute passed by Congress precluded any litigation. If the courts had found in their favor, they would have dismissed the lawsuit no further suits could be filed. Luckily, that argument didn’t hold. The second attack was whether NAHC had expedited administrative review, which is the argument that caused the dismissal. Now, they have to establish that it would be futile to get CMS to agree to expedited judicial review.

Next Steps

In light of the dismissal, NAHC had to decide whether to appeal the ruling, exhaust the expedited review step with CMS, or both. Ultimately, they decided not to appeal and is pursing the review with CMS. This process could take up to 6 months, according to Dombi. Although they are pursuing the review, CMS has already stated that their final position is that the budget neutrality has been calculated within the law. Dombi feels the review is futile because CMS is not going to change their position. Now, they just have to prove the futility.

Two-Step Approach

Advocacy from NAHC, NHPCO, and other individuals and organizations was always intended to be a two-pronged effort: Litigation and Congress. The two do not interfere with each other. Even though the court dismissed the litigation suit in favor of judicial review, the approach in Congress continues. Of Senator Wyland, Dombi said, “A year ago at this time, his view was that home health agencies needed no relief. Now, he’s indicated a willingness to find a way to help home health agencies and recognizes that the cuts have been harmful to home health agencies and others that provide care.” According to Dombi, it was the personal stories and individual provider information that was crucial in swaying Wyland. The organizations continue to meet with other members of Congress to persuade them in the same way.

Dombi Provides Merger Update

Last year, NAHC and NHPCO announced they would join forces and merge into a new, as yet to be named, organization. That merger is still moving forward, but there are a lot of odds and ends to tie up. Dombi told us, “Nothing is final, final, but I don’t see anything but tailwinds moving forward.” The two organizations are still hoping for a July 1, 2024 launch of the organization. There is an active, open search for a new CEO to actively run both organizations as one. According to Dombi, no one has been slated for that position yet, so they may end up launching before there is a CEO in place.

The two organizations have already started integrating. They have lobbied together and they have worked on policy together. Additionally, they are integrating the association management system and building a website. “We feel confident enough that it’s going to reach the finish line that we’re investing time and money in these elements,” Dombi said. The two organizations can continue to operate together without a CEO, but there are a lot of decisions that need to be made that won’t be made until after there is a CEO.

After the Merger

Once the merger is complete and the two organizations operate under a new name with a new CEO, Dombi and his counterpart Bill Marcantonio of NHPCO will stay on for some time. Dombi will take the title President Emeritus and Council to the organization and Marcantonio will become the Chief Integration Officer. The new name of the organization has not been announced. Dombi says a lot of things are tied together, from an action standpoint, and it’s better to announce all of those details together along with the new name.

Reflections From Bill Dombi

When asked what was next for him after the merger is completed and he moves to retirement, Dombi reflected on his career:


“I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in my life, but I’m more proud of what the people I work with I have accomplished. It’s not the first time we’ve tried to merge the two organizations, but this time, we had all the right ingredients and I’m proud of that. I live with the confidence that my constituency is up to the challenge. Every time they get kicked back, they’re right back at it.

To see where we are today compared to the 70s, we are so many light years ahead of where we were then. I mean, we’re talking about a hospital level of care at home. That was part of the dream. The fore-runners of healthcare at home truly believed those things were possible. The problems that caused the workforce shortage are multi-faceted, so the solutions are multi-pronged.”

Bill Dombi Spring Tour
We will continue following the story of both the lawsuits and the merger and update you as soon as there is more information.
Kristin Rowan, Editor
Kristin Rowan, Editor
Kristin Rowan has been working at Healthcare at Home: The Rowan Report since 2008. She has a master’s degree in business administration and marketing and runs Girard Marketing Group, a multi-faceted boutique marketing firm specializing in event planning, sales, and marketing strategy. She has recently taken on the role of Editor of The Rowan Report and will add her voice to current Home Care topics as well as marketing tips for home care agencies. Connect with Kristin directly or

©2024 by The Rowan Report, Peoria, AZ. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Healthcare at Home: The Rowan Report. One copy may be printed for personal use: further reproduction by permission only.