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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

Texas Bills Seek to Move Long Term Services and Supports into Managed Care

May 23, 2013 08:54 AM

The Texas legislature continues to work out language for legislation that would begin to transition long-term services and supports into managed care.  The two chambers have until Monday, when the legislative session ends, to work out the differences in their bills.

Among other things, Senate Bill 7 (S.B. 7) calls for test pilot programs to move long-term services and supports (LTSS) into managed-care models.  S.B. 7 would also establish an advisory committee, with members from the disability community, to advise state officials on how to improve efficiencies in Medicaid acute care services.  Finally, it would call on state officials to investigate the feasibility of automatically enrolling the disabled in a Medicaid managed care plan, and to implement this plan if feasible.

Senator Jane Nelson (R), the author of S.B. 7, remarked that the bill would decrease costs to Medicaid while “greatly improv[ing] efficiency and quality in our long-term care system.”

The House version of the bill differs from S.B. 7 in several respects. The House bill creates a “two-phase plan” of enrolling the disabled into managed care: acute care services for patients with intellectual disabilities would first shift over, followed by long-term services.  The House bill also mandates contracts between the state and managed care organizations so that patients can have continuity of care and choice of providers. 

On May 21, the Texas House passed an amendment to S.B. 7, stating that the governor can only expand Medicaid with the approval of the Texas legislature.  Specifically, the amendment prohibits the state from providing “medical assistance to any person who would not have been eligible for that assistance and for whom federal matching funds were not available.” 

While the amendment, drafted by State Representative Jeff Leach (R), was intended to prevent unilateral Medicaid expansion by the governor, some have expressed concern that its language is overly broad.  Specifically, State Representative John Zerwas (R) stated that the amendment’s “broad stroke” would prevent the state from using federal matching dollars towards programs such as the 1115 Medicaid waiver program.  “This particular provision,” Zerwas said, “in terms of restricting any ability to utilize matching funds for the provision of health care, is not the right amendment for this bill.”

The disability rights community has remained vocally opposed to both bills, stating that transitioning to managed care would disrupt patients’ access to their community living centers and providers.   

To read the full story in Texas, click here and here.

Conclusion

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 the Medicaid Council with any questions or concerns.

 

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