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In the various roles he has undertaken through the years, Val J. Halamandaris has been a singular driving force behind the policy and program initiatives resulting in the recognition of home health care as a viable alternative to institutionalization. His dedication to consumer advocacy, which enhances the quality of life and dignity of those receiving home health care, merits VNA HealthCare Group’s highest recognition and deepest respect. 

VNA HealthCare Group

I have the highest respect for them, especially for the nurses, aides and therapists, who devote their lives to caring for people with disabilities, the infirm and dying Americans.  There are few more noble professions.

President Barack Obama

Home health care agencies do such a wonderful job in this country helping people to be able to remain at home and allowing them to receive services

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair, Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Home care is a combination of compassion and efficiency.  It is less expensive than institutional care...but at the same time it is a more caring, human, intimate experience, and therefore it has a greater human’s a big mistake not to try to maximize it and find ways to give people the home care option over either nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Medicaid covers long-term care, but only for low-income families.  And Medicare only pays for care that is connected to a hospital discharge....our health care system must cover these vital services...[and] we should promote home-based care, which most people prefer, instead of the institutional care that we emphasize now.

Former U.S. Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-CD)

We need incentives to...keep people in home health care settings...It’s dramatically less expensive than long term care.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)


Home care is clearly the wave of the future. It’s clearly where patients want to be cared for. I come from an ethnic family and when a member of our family is severely ill, we would never consider taking them to get institutional care. That’s true of many families for both cultural and financial reasons. If patients have a choice of where they want to be cared for, where it’s done the right way, they choose home.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

A couple of years ago, I spent a little bit of time with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and its president, Val J. Halamandaris, and I was just blown away. What impressed me so much was that they talked about what they do as opposed to just the strategies of how to deal with Washington or Sacramento or Albany or whatever the case may be. Val is a fanatic about care, and it comes through in every way known to mankind. It comes through in the speakers he invites to their events; it comes through in all the stuff he shares.

Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Val’s home care organization brings thousands of caregivers together into a dynamic organization that provides them with valuable resources and tools to be even better in their important work. He helps them build self-esteem, which leads to self-motivation.

Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney and author of Think Out of the Box

Val is one of the greatest advocates for seniors in America. He goes beyond the call of duty every time.

Arthur S. Flemming, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Val has brought the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities out in the open for everyone to look at. He is a visionary pointing the direction for us. 

Margaret (Peg) Cushman, Professor of Nursing and former President of the Visiting Nurses Association

Although Val has chosen to stay in the background, he deserves much of the credit for what was accomplished both at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was closely associated with me and at the House Select Committee on Aging, where he was Congressman Claude Pepper’s senior counsel and closest advisor. He put together more hearings on the subject of aging, wrote more reports, drafted more bills, and had more influence on the direction of events than anyone before him or since.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Val’s most important contribution is pulling together all elements of home health care and being able to organize and energize the people involved in the industry.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

Kathleen Gardner Cravedi, former Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Aging

Without your untiring support and active participation, the voices of people advocating meaningful and compassionate health care reform may not have been heard by national leaders.

Michael Sullivan, Former Executive Director, Indiana Association for Home Care

All of us have been members of many organizations and NAHC is simply the best there is. NAHC aspires to excellence in every respect; its staff has been repeatedly honored as the best in Washington; the organization lives by the highest values and has demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of patients and providers.

Elaine Stephens, Director of Home Care of Steward Home Care/Steward Health Systems and former NAHC C

Home care increasingly is one of the basic building blocks in the developing system of long-term care.  On both economic and recuperative bases, home health care will continue to grow as an essential service for individuals, for families and for the community as a whole.

Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

NCOA is excited to be part of this great event and honored to have such influential award winners in the field of aging.

National Council of Aging

Health care at home…is something we need more of, not less of.  Let us make a commitment to preventive and long-term care.  Let us encourage home care as an alternative to nursing homes and give folks a little help to have their parents there.

Former President Bill Clinton

Home Health Code Update: Modifier Code Rescinded, Place of Service Clarified

April 8, 2013 07:27 PM

In Transmittal 2650, dated February 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to require home health agencies to report new claims data. The new data requirements, which would be effective July 1, 2013, included “place where services were provided” and a modifier to identify visits made solely to provide services ordered by physicians other than the certifying physician.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) discussed its concerns about these new coding requirements with CMS. NAHC told CMS that a place of service code that did not define “assisted living facility” would result in unreliable data - since there are various facility titles and definitions across the country. Additionally, NAHC asked that clarification be provided for the non-certifying physician modifier and that additional time be given for software vendors to write programs and home health agencies to implement them.

On April 2, 2013 CMS issued Transmittal 2680 rescinding and replacing 2650, which is available here.

Non-certifying Physician Modifier Requirement Rescinded

In Transmittal 2680, CMS announced its decision to remove the requirement to report a modifier where additions/changes to the plan of care that result in an increased number of visits/increased services or a change in the type of services. NAHC supports CMS’ decision to rescind this requirement - as it would have created a new burden for home health agencies, clinicians, and software vendors. 

Site of Home Health Services Refined

Although CMS retained its plans to require home health agencies to report the location where services are provided beginning on July 1, 2013, in Transmittal 2680 CMS further defined assisted living facilities. According to the Transmittal, assisted living facilities are places of residence “as defined by the State in which the beneficiary is located.”  This change in policy will not appear in the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual until CMS’ next manual update, which is expected by January 2014.

The HCPCS codes and their definitions, as reported in February, will remain unchanged:

Q5001:    Hospice or home health care provided in patient’s home/residence

Q5002:    Hospice or home health care provided in assisted living facility

Q5009:    Hospice or home health care provided in place not otherwise specified

Transmittal 2680 reiterated previous instructions for reporting the location where services were provided. The location must be reported along with the first billable visit in an HH PPS episode by reporting an additional line item with the same revenue code and date of service, reporting one of the three Q codes (Q5001, Q5002, and Q5009), one unit and a nominal charge (e.g, a penny). If the location where services were provided changes during the episode, the new location should be reported with an additional line corresponding to the first visit provided in the new location.




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