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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

Advocates Tempering Managed Care Overhauls of Medicaid in Kansas and New Hampshire

April 26, 2013 01:12 PM

On April 25, hundreds from the disabled community protested outside the Kansas statehouse for a permanent “carve out” of long-term developmental disability services (LTDDS) from managed care.  Advocates are hoping to secure a permanent carve out following the return of the Kansas Legislature to finish its 2013 session on May 8.  

Governor Sam Brownback (R) initiated Medicaid reform on January 1 - called KanCare - which enlisted almost all of Kansas’ 380,000 Medicaid beneficiaries into managed care plans administered by Amerigroup, United Healthcare, and Sunflower State Health Plan. 

The intention of the Brownback Administration is to eventually include LTDDS in KanCare, though service providers and other advocates have so far successfully lobbied for a year-long delay, until January 1, 2014.

Interested groups have noted problems with the managed care organizations (MCOs) in KanCare since its implementation.  Kansas Pharmacists Association found a lack of transparency with pricing, as well as reduced or delayed payments for durable medical equipment.  Community Health Clinic of Southeast Kansas expressed concerns around authorizations of medications, as well as payment delays.  Despite noted concerns, administration officials state that concern over MCOs is based on “misinformation,” and instead assert that the MCOs are dealing with problems with a “workman-like approach.”

In New Hampshire, advocacy efforts have contributed to establishing checks and balances on MCO implementation.  To protect both enrollees and providers, and “recogniz[ing] the concerns and challenges surrounding managed care implementation,” on April 10, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan (D) issued an executive order creating a panel to advise the Governor on the state’s implementation of managed care in Medicaid. 

This panel will include experts on managed care, adult health care services, and developmental disabilities, among other areas.  The president of the Manchester, NH based provider Independent Services Network is a member of the panel.  The first meeting of the panel, named the Governor's Commission on Medicaid Care Management, will occur within 30 days from April 10.

To see the full story on Medicaid reform in Kansas, click here and here.

For an article highlighting the concerns with KanCare, click here.

For more details on New Hampshire’s new executive order, click here.


Home health providers should be aware that the move to managed care in Medicaid faces opposition from beneficiaries and interest groups alike – and that providers are also not powerless or voiceless in the matter.

Stakeholders can be very useful in improving a state’s transition to managed care in Medicaid. Likewise, if these stakeholders have outright opposition to using managed care in Medicaid, the forums are there to voice those opinions. The main point is that the nature and scope of any state’s consideration or movement to Medicaid managed care is neither automatic nor a decision made in a vacuum.

Home health providers are encouraged to keep abreast of managed care transitions in their states, advocate on a state level, and to contact NAHC with any questions or concerns.




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