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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

National Coordinator for Health IT Speaks to NAHC Board of Directors

June 26, 2013 09:03 AM

Earlier this month, the NAHC Board of Directors welcomed Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (IT) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to its meeting in Annapolis, MD.  Dr. Mostashari was invited to speak to Board members about his vision for a 21st century health care system and the role that health IT can play in supporting home and community-based care models.

“It was a great honor to have Dr. Mostashari with us at our Board meeting,” said NAHC President, Val J. Halamandaris.  “We look forward to working with him to make telehealth and health information technology more generally available to Medicare patients.”

During his remarks, Dr. Mostashari highlighted several emerging trends enabled by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including an anticipated shift away from the current fee-for-service payment structure and toward value-based care models.  He asked NAHC’s Board members to consider how long-term, post-acute care (LTPAC) providers can align with initiatives led by acute care facilities, including efforts to reduce Medicare readmission rates.  He also suggested that home health and hospice providers should embrace the new care models currently being piloted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), such as value-based purchasing and accountable care organizations (ACOs).

Additionally, Dr. Mostashari engaged in a robust dialogue with NAHC’s Board members regarding the need for improved quality measures in the home health and hospice care settings.  He listened to concerns regarding the current lack of meaningful metrics in these care settings and acknowledged the need for quality measures that span the spectrum of care.

Dr. Mostashari’s remarks also focused on the adoption and “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHRs) in LTPAC settings. Although home health agencies and hospice providers are not eligible for incentives under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, Dr. Mostashari suggested that LTPAC providers can align with eligible professionals and hospitals by adopting systems that use the standards required in Stage 2 of the meaningful use program (effective on October 1, 2013 for eligible hospitals; January 1, 2014 for eligible professionals).

Some examples of these standards include:

  • Content– Stage 2 of the meaningful use program requires the patient care summary to be structured using the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA), Continuity of Care Document (CCD). Use of a consistent content standard is intended to facilitate health information exchange across a variety of care settings.
  • Vocabularies – Stage 2 also implements a set of consistent vocabulary standards for expressing key data elements in a patient’s health record, including problem lists (expressed using the SNOMED-CT standard), lab tests (expressed using the LOINC standard), and medications (expressed using the RxNORM standard).
  • Transport – Stage 2 of the meaningful use program requires EHR technology to be able to electronically receive transition of care/referral summaries using the ONC Applicability Statement for Secure Health Transport (also known as the “DIRECT” messaging standard).

Dr. Mostashari highlighted the impact that Stage 2 of the meaningful use program stands to have on a patient’s ability to view, download and transmit their own health information to a recipient of their choice. “Blue Button” initiatives currently underway at several federal agencies, including CMS and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), aim to create a simple, uniform mechanism for enabling a patient to access their own information. CMS currently makes a three-year longitudinal claims record available to each beneficiary and there are a number of industry applications that can transform this data into a simple, easy-to-use record at the point of care.

For additional information on Dr. Mostashari’s remarks or home health IT initiatives more broadly, please contact Richard D. Brennan, Jr. MA, Executive Director of NAHC’s affiliated Home Care Technology Association of America, at rdb@nahc.org.

 

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