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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 Ways and Means Committee Chairman Releases Draft Legislation that Would Increase Cost-sharing In Medicare – Including Adding a Home Health Copay

Chairman seeking public feedback on proposals in draft legislation; all NAHC members encouraged to submit their comments to by August 16, 2013.
July 25, 2013 09:57 AM

Late last week, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released draft legislation that would seriously change the benefit structure of Medicare. Proposals included in the draft legislation range from increasing the Medicare Part B deductible for new enrollees to increasing income-related premiums under Parts B & D. Of greatest concern to NAHC and its members is the suggested implementation of a home health copay. 

The home health copay proposal in the draft legislation was also included in the President’s FY14 budget.  It would impose a $100 copay on home health episodes not preceded by a hospital or nursing home stay, beginning in 2017 and applying to those who become newly eligible for Medicare in 2017 or later.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) remains committed in its opposition to shifting additional costs onto Medicare home health beneficiaries in the form of more out of pocket expense. With respect to the proposed home health copayment, Congress eliminated such a “sick tax” on beneficiaries back in the 1970s when it was found that such copayments were ineffective at saving the Medicare program money, as people had to seek more costly care options.

Home health copayments would be just as harmful – if not more so – today with a rise in the number of beneficiaries needing home health services as Baby Boomers start to retire. If reinstated, the Medicare home health copayment will likely lead to more people seeking care in much more costly care settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and emergency rooms.

In April, the Ways and Means Committee announced a series of hearings on reforms to the Medicare system based on recommendations from President Obama’s budget, as well as from the Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin proposals.  NAHC submitted testimony to several of these hearings outlining its strong opposition to a home health copayment - emphasizing that it is as wrong for Medicare now as it was when it was repealed in 1972, while at the same time emphasizing NAHC’s commitment to work with the Ways and Means Committee to find savings though thoughtful and targeted program reforms.

The public is invited to submit their comments to the Ways and Means Committee via email to: by August 16, 2013. NAHC encourages all of its members and their patients to write to the Ways and Means Committee reiterating their strong opposition to the home health copay proposal laid out in the draft legislation and describing the dire consequences that the addition of a Medicare home health copay would have on home health beneficiaries and their caregivers.

More information on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearings on Medicare – including NAHC’s testimony – can be found in previous NAHC Report articles here and here.

Following the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearings, NAHC and other stakeholders were invited to share their ideas for ways to reform Medicare post acute care payments. Additional information on that initiative can be found in a previous NAHC Report article here.

For more information on the draft Medicare legislation, please click here.




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