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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

CMS Releases Updated Hospice Quality Reporting Program Information

August 16, 2013 11:34 AM

On August 13, 2013 CMS posted Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) training materials and results from the analysis of the NQF #0209 data that was submitted by hospices to the HQRP webpage

Training materials posted include:

  • HQRP General Information Fact Sheet
  • Fact Sheet FY2015 Reporting Cycle
  • User Guide for Data Collection FY2015 Reporting Cycle
  • Training Slides for Data Collection FY2015 Reporting Cycle

Results from the analysis of the NQF #0209 are based on measure data collected at three time points – the voluntary reporting period, the pilot test of the HIS (Hospice Item Set), and data submitted by hospices for mandatory reporting in 2013. 

Findings indicate that there were significant discrepancies in data collection as well as in the crosswalk between hospice patient assessments and the data elements included in the HIS.  Data analysis also revealed an unexpectedly high rate of patient exclusion from the measure.  Exclusion was primarily related to a high number of patients unable to self-report, and patients not reporting pain on admission.  CMS has indicated it will not include the current NQF #0209 measure in the HQRP beyond payment year 2015. 

The HQRP currently operates on a cycle of data collection, data submission, and payment impact that spans three years. HQRP reporting cycles are referenced by the payment year they impact. For example, the current HQRP cycle, Payment Year 2015 Cycle will consist of data collection in 2013, data submission in 2014, impacting the Annual Payment Update (APU) for 2015. 

The HQRP is currently a “pay for reporting” system meaning hospices are not penalized for the outcomes achieved on the quality measures.  Hospices are penalized with a two percent reduction in their APU for the payment year for which a hospice does not report any data by the submission deadline.  The two percent APU reduction is not cumulative meaning that it only impacts the payment year for which data was not submitted and not any payment years beyond that.

All hospices with a CCN (CMS Certification Number commonly known as provider number) as of March 3, 2014 must meet the April 1, 2014 submission and attestation deadline.  If the hospice was certified but did not have an assigned CCN on March 3, 2014 the hospice is excluded for reporting.  If a hospice starts anew after December 31, 2013 but has a CCN assigned by March 3, 2014 it must still meet the April 1 deadline.  In this situation, it is important to reiterate that the HQRP is currently a pay for reporting system and the performance of the hospice on the measures is not a consideration in the APU reduction decision. 

For payment year 2015 hospices will report on two measures – a structural measure and a pain measure (NQF #0209).  Hospice providers will report to CMS via a web-based data entry and submission website. The data entry website will be available for data entry, attestation, and data submission January –April 1, 2014.   

All submissions and attestations must be complete by 11:59 PM Eastern on April 1, 2014 in order to avoid the two percent APU reduction for FY2015. 

Hospices will report data by CCN.  Therefore, hospices with multiple locations under one CCN will aggregate their data for submission.  Hospices must report on the measures directly to CMS via the web portal or utilize a vendor to report on their behalf.  Vendors will not be able to do any batch reporting.  The vendor will have to do the reporting for each hospice individually via the web portal.  This may change for future reporting but CMS has not indicated anything further about this at this time. 

NAHC will continue to monitor the HQRP webpage for any additional updates and specifically for the technical user guide posting.  We will notify you of any information as it becomes available.

 

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