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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

Home Care, Hospice Community Urged to Ramp Up Grassroots Campaign over Congressional Recess

Participate in Action to Protect Home Care and Hospice
August 6, 2013 03:28 PM

The summer recess for the House of Representatives and Senate runs through September 9. This provides many opportunities for home care and hospice grassroots action back in the state and districts over the recess. 

When Congress returns it will have to address a number of contentious issues, including further efforts to find alternatives to the sequester, fund the government for the next fiscal year beginning October 1, raise the debt limit, reduce the deficit and find offsets for the cost of fixing the flawed Medicare physician payment formula before the end of the year.  

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the Congressional Budget Office, the Bowles-Simpson Deficit Reduction Commission, and the President’s proposed budget have suggested home health and hospice payment cuts and copays for deficit reduction and/or offsetting the cost of the physician payment fix.  The home care and hospice community will have to ramp up its efforts during the recess and beyond to protect the home health and hospice benefits from payment cuts and copays.

Home care and hospice advocates should also raise other important issues over the recess, such as:

  • Revising the proposed Medicare home health rebasing rule to ensure payments are adequate to protect access to care (see NAHC Report Action Alert here);
  • Reducing home health face-to-face physician encounter documentation requirements (see NAHC Report Action Alert here);
  • Reforming the hospice face-to-face requirement and establishing hospice payment demonstration program (Hospice Evaluation and Legitimate Payment Act (S.1053; H.R.2302);
  • Allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to sign home health plans of care (The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (S.1332; H.R.2504));
  • Providing incentives for telehomecare (The Fostering Independence through Technology Act (S.596));
  • Preserving the companionship services exemption from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act;
  • Modifying the employer responsibilities in the Affordable Care Act to address home care specific needs.

Sample letters and talking points for these issues are on the NAHC Legislative Action Network.

During the recess, NAHC is urging its members and their friends, family, and co-workers to speak out as loudly and forcefully as possible. This is also a good time to thank those members of Congress who have taken a stand against home care and hospice payment cuts and copays.

Following are suggested grassroots action steps over the recess, some of which we plan to cover in more detail in upcoming issues of NAHC Report:

  • Attend a town hall meeting held by your members of Congress.
  • Pose specific questions to your members of Congress on where they stand on home care and hospice issues.
  • Schedule face-to-face meetings with your members of Congress.
  • Invite a member of Congress out on a home care visit -- get the media to come along if possible.
  • Attend a candidate fundraiser for a member of Congress and speak with him or her personally.
  • Submit a letter to the editor or op-ed piece to the local newspaper.
  • Call in to a talk radio station and initiate dialogue on home care and hospice.
  • Use online social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to discuss home care and hospice concerns.
  • Contact your state's governor and ask for support for home care and hospice.
  • Send a message to all employees of your organization asking them to get involved and to write messages to members of Congress through the NAHC Legislative Action Network (NAHC LAN).
  • Send a message to all board members of your home health agency or hospice asking them to get involved and to write messages to members of Congress through the NAHC LAN.
  • Send a message to your past and current patients and ask that they contact Congress through the NAHC LAN.
  • Send a message to physicians who care for your patients asking them to get involved and to write messages to members of Congress through the NAHC LAN.
  • Contact community groups such as local AARP chapters, senior citizen centers, and disease support groups explaining threatened home care and hospice cuts and copays and ask that they send messages to Congress for support of home care and hospice through the NAHC LAN.
  • Contact religious groups explaining threatened home care and hospice cuts and copays and ask that they send messages to Congress through the NAHC LAN.
  • Contact health care officials such as hospital administrators and explain threatened home care and hospice cuts and copays, asking them to send a message to Congress through the NAHC LAN.
  • Spread the word on using the NAHC LAN to help fight home care and hospice cuts and copays through a message to your email contacts urging them to send to at least 10 more individuals.
  • Invite your representative to join the House Home Health Caucus.


For today's suggested grassroots action step: Plan to attend a congressional town hall meeting.

  • Go to your Congress member’s website to see if his/her recess schedule is published.
  • If a schedule isn’t published on the website, call his or her local office and inquire as to when the lawmaker(s) will be making public appearances.
  • Review NAHC's talking points/issue briefs on the NAHC Legislative Action Network.
  • Bring as many home care and hospice advocates with you as you can get.
  • Speak out at a town hall meeting about the importance of preserving access to home care and hospice and urge your representative and senators to oppose home care and hospice cuts and copays.



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