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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

CMMI Issues Second Round of Health Care Innovation Awards

June 19, 2013 08:51 AM

On May 15, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will be awarding up to $900 million in new funding for a second round of Health Care Innovation Awards. These awards will be made to applicants who propose new payment and service delivery models that have high likelihood of improving care and reducing costs for Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries, with a strong focus on Medicaid and CHIP populations.

The second round of awards will build on an earlier round of funding awarded in 2012. The first round of Innovation Awards supports 107 models, ranging from $1 million to $26.5 million over a three year period. This round included a wide range of models, including models that enhance primary care, coordinate care across multiple settings, deploy new types of health care workers, help patients and providers make better decisions, and test new service delivery technologies.

While the first round encouraged applicants to focus on new models of workforce development and deployment that sufficiently support their service delivery model proposal, CMS has identified four broad innovation categories as a priority for the second round, including:

  • Models that are designed to rapidly reduce Medicare, Medicaid, and/or CHIP costs in outpatient and/or post-acute settings.Although CMS may consider proposals in other outpatient/post-acute care areas, priority areas include diagnostic services, outpatient radiology, high-cost physician-administered drugs, home based services, therapeutic services, hospice and post-acute services. CMS selected these priorities because of significant spending growth and geographic variation, as well as a perception that there continue to be untapped opportunities to improve payment and delivery in these areas.
  • Models that improve care for populations with specialized needs.Priority areas are high-cost pediatric populations, children in foster care, children at high risk for dental disease, adolescents in crisis, persons with Alzheimer’s disease, persons living with HIV/AIDS, persons requiring long-term support and services and persons with serious behavioral health needs. CMS seeks to expand its activities in this area because of high unmet need and significant spending growth.
  • Models that test approaches for specific types of providers to quickly transform their financial and clinical models.Priority areas are models designed for physician specialties and subspecialties, and for pediatric providers who provide services to children with complex medical conditions, including shared decision-making mechanisms for patient and caregiver engagement in treatment choices where appropriate. 
  • Models that improve the health of populations by linking clinical care to preventive health.Priority areas are models that lead to better prevention and control of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and HIV/AIDS; models that promote behaviors that reduce risk for chronic disease, including increased physical activity and improved nutrition; models that promote medication adherence and self-management skills; models that prevent falls among seniors; and models that link clinical care with community-based initiatives.

Successful applicants must build the capacity and infrastructure needed to implement their model within the first six months of the performance period. CMS has indicated that preference will be given to those applicants who demonstrate that they can be operational sooner.  Net savings and cost reductions must be realized within three years although CMS may consider prevention models that realize savings on a longer timeline on a case-by-case basis.

Given CMS’ focus on post-acute care settings, home health and hospice providers should evaluate whether this funding announcement could support payment and delivery system transformation initiatives within their facilities and networks. Careful consideration should also be given to identifying other organizations that may be interested in partnering on a project.

CMS is accepting Letters of Intent until June 28, 2013. Applications are due on August 15, 2013.

For additional information about the funding opportunity announcement, please contact Mary Langowski, Chair, DLA Piper’s Health Care Regulatory and Policy group, at (202) 799-4362 or




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