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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

House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology Holds Hearing to Explore the Rapid Growth of Mobile Health Applications and the Impact of Potential Regulations

July 19, 2013 02:23 PM

The House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology, under the chairmanship of Representative Chris Collins (R-NY), recently held a hearing to highlight the contributions of mobile applications (apps) entrepreneurs to economic growth and improved health care. Witnesses also discussed how Washington regulations are helping or stifling innovation.

“The medical app industry is growing by leaps and bounds, providing economic opportunities and improving patient-focused health care in a digital age,” said Chairman Collins. “One study estimates that over 500 million smartphones will be using mobile medical apps by 2015. The medical app industry has created an estimated 500,000 jobs and nearly $25 billion in revenue. This technology is still relatively new territory for Washington, but it is important that Congress realizes its economic potential and recognizes how federal regulation affects the industry’s innovation. Today’s testimony by mobile medical app entrepreneurs provides a case for why the federal government should enact policies that responsibly balances patient safety, while fostering cutting-edge innovation and economic growth.”

At least three federal agencies, The Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the Federal Communications Commission have roles in the regulation of mobile medical apps. The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, enacted in 2012, requires the Secretary of HHS to prepare a report by January 2014 that outlines a strategy for a risk-based regulatory framework that governs health information technology, including mobile apps.

On July 21, 2011, the FDA released draft guidance on the regulation of mobile medical apps. Some believe, however, that the vagueness of the guidance has created uncertainty for the industry. In March of 2013, the FDA said it hopes to issue final guidance by the end of this fiscal year.

Additionally, mobile medical apps may be subject to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) new 2.3 percent medical device tax, and the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) has issued a final rule stating that certain mobile medical apps fall under the description of a medical device. These regulatory developments could have a major impact on the innovation of small medical app manufacturers and many are concerned that heavy-handed regulations could stifle an industry that is rapidly developing but far from mature.

Of the witnesses that provided testimony during the hearing, the most noteworthy comments came from Alan Portela, Chief Executive Officer of AirStrip in San Antonio, TX.  Portela said, “Over the last 20 years, information management and information technology have played a transformative role in shaping the future of healthcare. Current and future innovations in healthcare information technology (HIT) will be no different and they will affect every facet of healthcare including how it is delivered, how it is consumed, how hospitals compete with one another to provide best value and how the healthcare labor force is realigned to meet ever-changing requirements.” He also stated that he believes small businesses and federal regulators can work together to ensure that the mobile apps are safe and secure and in compliance with existing regulations.  He also stated that further guidance and standards for exchange provided by the federal government would be helpful to app developers.

Other witnesses, such as Keith Brophy, Chief Executive Officer of Ideomed in Grand Rapids, MI, were cautious of government intervention in this growing marketplace. He said, “It is important to remember the impact laws and regulations have on small businesses. I thank the Committee for placing the spotlight on developers like Ideomed who are working hard in a very competitive industry. With the possibility of unintended consequences disproportionately affecting small businesses, it's important for Congress to move carefully when making changes that affect health care mobile technologies.”





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