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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

NAHC Submits Testimony to Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Hearing on Post-Acute Care

Home Health One of the Main Areas of Focus
June 20, 2013 09:43 AM

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health last week held the fourth in a series of hearings devoted to “bipartisan proposals to reform Medicare and Social Security,” according to the Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX). The hearing was particularly important to the home care community as its focus was post-acute care payments. The hearing’s witnesses were Jonathan Blum, Deputy Administrator and Director, Center of Medicare, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and; Mark Miller, Executive Director, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

The National Association of Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) submitted testimony for inclusion in the hearing’s official record. In its testimony, submitted by NAHC Board Chair Andrea Devoti, NAHC emphasized that:

“Many studies have found that home health care can prevent expensive hospitalizations and nursing home stays while providing cost effective care in the home setting that people prefer… We have grave concerns about the impact of further cuts to home health care payments on access to care and want to ensure that efforts to bundle payments to post-acute care providers recognize the central role that home health should play.”

NAHC’s testimony also elaborates on several proposals that the organization believes could find bipartisan support on ways to reform post-acute care payments within Medicare, specifically ensuring that Medicare home health payments are adequate to protect access to care and ensuring home health care participation in transitions in care, Accountable Care Organizations, chronic care management programs, health information exchanges and other healthcare delivery reforms.

One proposal that is gaining bipartisan support - and was mentioned by Chairman Brady – is an effort to further cut payments by 1.1 percent over the next ten years, which NAHC opposes and in its testimony emphasized that:

“The President’s FY 2014 budget proposal to cut payments another 1.1 percent over the next ten years would further threaten access to home health care. Moreover, it ignores rebasing scheduled to begin next year, which will likely cut home health rates to the bone.  More payment cuts on top of rebasing would devastate access to care.”

During the hearing, much of the discussion focused on supposed waste, fraud and abuse in post-acute care and profit margins for post-acute care providers with little substantial conversation on actual reform proposals. With respect to waste, fraud and abuse, many members of the Subcommittee and NAHC allies reiterated studies that found such practices were highly isolated to select counties. With respect to the question of profit margins, NAHC’s testimony offered data suggesting that a large percentage of home health agencies are at risk of closing because Medicare payments are less than the actual cost of care.

In his opening remarks, Chairman Brady indicated that, “after hospital care is in "desperate need for reform" while Ranking Member McDermott emphasized that, “we agree on the need for post-acute reform,” though he also stressed that everybody wants the best care for their loved ones who are in post-acute settings.

NAHC also reiterated that the organization “agree[s] with the Chairman and Ranking Member that we should find the right reforms in post-acute care that can both improve care for today’s seniors and extend the fiscal viability of the program well into the future.”

The real debate now becomes what post-acute reforms may look like in their breadth, depth and scope. To that end, NAHC and other stakeholders have recently been invited to offer their input into Medicare post-acute payments with members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees. Additional information will be provided in an upcoming issue of NAHC Report.

To read NAHC’s full testimony, please click here.

For more information on the recent Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing, please click here.





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