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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

NAHC Submits Comments on House Ways and Means Committee’s Draft Legislation on Post-Acute Care

August 20, 2013 09:49 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) recently submitted comments on the House Ways and Means Committee’s draft legislation on Medicare post-acute care, which includes a 1.1 percentage point cut in inflation updates. The House Ways and Means Committee has jurisdiction over the Medicare program, and NAHC’s comments come in response to the Committee’s request for public feedback on such proposals.

For more information on the draft legislation, as well as the request for public comment, please see NAHC Report from August 6, 2013.

In its comments, NAHC states that:

“We have grave concerns about the impact of further cuts to home health care payments on access to care and want to ensure that efforts to bundle payments to post-acute care providers recognize the central role that home health should play… The President’s FY 2014 budget proposal to cut payments another 1.1 percent over the next ten years, which was incorporated into the draft legislation, would further threaten access to home health care. Moreover, it ignores rebasing scheduled to begin next year, which will likely cut home health rates to the bone.  More payment cuts on top of rebasing would devastate access to care.”

NAHC’s comments further elaborate on why the 1.1 percentage point cut should be rejected, stating that:

“With the 78 million baby boomer generation reaching their 65th birthday at the rate of 10,000 per day for the next 19 years, the need for home health services will only increase. Home health keeps families together and is overwhelmingly what patients prefer. It is far more cost effective for Medicare than institutional options. Below are the details of these massive cuts:

  • Congress included $39.7 billion in home health payment cuts under the ACA through 2019.  It reduced the home health inflation update one percentage point for 2011, 2012, and 2013, mandated rebasing of home health payment rates beginning in 2014 with a 4-year phase-in, and imposed a productivity adjustment in the inflation update beginning in 2015 that will reduce the inflation update by an estimated 1 percentage point each year.  While home health represents less than 6 percent of Medicare spending it took a disproportionate 10 percent in Medicare payment cuts used to pay for the ACA.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued rules that cut home health payment rates by 2.75 percent in 2008, 2.75 percent in 2009, 2.75 percent in 2010, 3.79 percent in 2011, 3.79 in 2012, and 1.32 in 2013 — for total reductions of over 16 percent which was in addition to the ACA rate cuts.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently increased the projected impact of the cuts to more than $32 billion.
  • As a result of sequestration, home health patients and providers will take an additional 2 percent cut reducing payments over the next 10 years by $6 billion dollars.

The public is invited to submit their comments to the Ways and Means Committee via email to: entitlementreform@mail.house.gov by Friday, August 30, 2013.

NAHC encourages all of its members and their patients to write to the Ways and Means Committee reiterating their strong opposition to further cuts in home health payments and describing the dire consequences this would have on home health beneficiaries and their caregivers.

Members may also wish to comment on the post acute care bundling proposal in the draft legislation.  NAHC has taken the position that home health agencies should play the central role in managing any bundled post acute care payments.

To read NAHC’s full comments, please click here.

 

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