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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

Heath 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 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

Senator Wyden Reintroduces Hospice HELP Act

House companion legislation to be introduced soon
May 30, 2013 09:03 AM

On May 23, 2013, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) reintroduced the Hospice Evaluation and Legitimate Payment Act - S. 1053. The legislation would make important refinements to existing Medicare hospice policy by:

  • Ensuring an Appropriate Transition to the New Hospice Payment System
    Under current law, payment reforms will be implemented in hospices nationwide on or after October 1, 2013. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is not required to test these payment reforms to find out what the “real world” impact will be on beneficiary access to quality care and on the financial viability of hospice programs. S. 1053 would address this concern by requiring a 15-site demonstration of the new payment system prior to nationwide implementation.
  • Refining the Hospice Face-to-Face Encounter Requirements
    In January 2011, CMS implemented a requirement that hospice patients entering their third or later benefit period - 180 days - have a face-to-face encounter with a hospice physician or nurse practitioner (NP). While CMS allows an additional two days to complete the face-to-face under documented exceptional circumstances, such as when a patient is a new readmission to hospice after a break in service or when CMS data systems are unavailable or lack full information on the patient’s benefit period status, hospices continue to have difficulty meeting the time frames for the face-to-face. S. 1053 would make modest changes by allowing seven days for completion of the face-to-face requirement when exceptional circumstances occur; the legislation also permits hospices to use other clinicians, such as physician assistants, to perform the encounter. These changes will be of particular benefit to small, rural providers and in areas where physicians and NPs are in short supply, and would become effective January 1, 2014.
  • Requiring Surveys of Hospice Programs Every Three Years
    Despite the need for regular surveys of hospice programs to ensure they meet Medicare’s many and frequently changing regulatory requirements, most hospices are surveyed only every six or seven years. S. 1053 would require that hospice programs be surveyed at least once every three years, which will help to ensure that hospice providers are adhering to survey and certification requirements.

National Association for Home Care & Hospice members are urged to contact their Senators and ask that they cosponsor S. 1053.  It is anticipated that Representative Mike Reed (R-NY) will introduce companion legislation in the House in the near future. 

Watch for developments in future issues of NAHC Report.  




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