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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

NAHC Submits Comments to CMS on the Proposed Medicare Home Health Rule

August 27, 2013 11:00 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) recently submitted comments to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner on the proposed rule change to Medicare home health services. The comments outline NAHC’s objection to the rebasing rule changes as well as several other issues that could greatly affect the home health community.

The submitted comments state that:

“The 2014 proposed rule includes the most significant change in payment rates since the inception of the Home Health Prospective Payment System in October 2000. With the combination of the rate rebasing and the modifications proposed in the case mix adjustment model, payment rates would decrease by over 14 points over 2014-2017 with the 4-year phase-in of rebasing. Our analysis demonstrates that over 70% of existing home health agencies (HHAs) will be paid less than the cost of care with this NPRM. This proposal will have natural and foreseeable effect of eliminating access to care in much of the country. The NPRM is inconsistent with the rate rebasing authority delegated by Congress to CMS, counter to the publicly available data set out in Medicare cost reports, and a vast regulatory overreach if the goal is to reset payment rates while maintaining access to essential services.

NAHC has had a long history of constructive evaluation of CMS proposed rule changes. Our comments set out below are intended in that spirit. However, we are gravely concerned with this NPRM and the serious adverse consequences that will arise if CMS does not change the proposal significantly. In no way do we believe that CMS intends the vast loss of access to care that we forecast will result from the NPRM. Nevertheless, it is vital that CMS look to alternative methods of rebasing payment rates to ensure continued care access…

The proposed rebasing methodology guarantees that reimbursement for home health services will be less than the average “cost” of care even under CMS’s definition of “cost.” That will occur because the CMS methodology segments elements of home health services in rebasing the payment rates for a bundled 60 episode of care. The formula used by CMS offers payment at the average “cost” of a normal episode combined with less than cost of LUPA episodes along with intentional financial losses on outlier episodes.”

 The comments proceed to highlight NAHC’s concerns – backed with significant data – and suggestions for a more equitable rebasing structure. “These comments allowed NAHC to share with CMS some of the most glaring problems with their proposed rebasing rule as it is currently written,” said Bill Dombi, NAHC’s Vice President for Law. "CMS could fairly calculate rebased rates in other ways that would lessen the negative impact access to care. Alternative and valid methods of calculating the average cost of care would reduce the rate cut in half. We also believe that CMS must consider all business costs and the need for capital. If CMS did so, the rate cuts would be further reduced. We intend to carry this message to Congress, seeking its assistance in convincing CMS to change course."

NAHC strongly encourages all providers to contact their congressional delegation requesting that they sign on to the support letters circulating in the House and Senate. All the tools to do so are in the NAHC LAN.

To read NAHC’s full, submitted comments on CMS’ rebasing rule, please click here





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