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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

HHS Releases Report to Congress on Providers Ineligible for Electronic Health Records Payment Incentives

September 4, 2013 10:14 AM

As a requirement of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy recently released a study entitled EHR Payment Incentives for Providers Ineligible for Payment Incentives and Other Funding Study.  The long-awaited study provided a rationale for identifying provider types not eligible for electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments and identified the provider types who may participate in Medicare and Medicaid but are not eligible for the EHR incentive programs instituted under HITECH.

Home health care and hospice providers - categorized as Long-Term, Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) providers in the report - were included as one of the ineligible provider types that have a frequent need to exchange health information on behalf of their patient populations and would benefit from the use of health IT/EHR technology, including the ability to communicate electronically with other providers.

The ASPE study identified several actions, programs and initiatives that have been leveraged or proposed to provide “direct support” or “indirect support” to ineligible providers for their acquisition and/or use of health IT/EHRs, including: extending the EHR Incentive Programs, grant and loan programs, technical assistance, developing and implementing a health IT infrastructure to support interoperable HIE and more importantly also acknowledges that none of the programs for ineligible providers are sufficient to promote widespread adoption of certified EHR technology (CEHRT).

The study noted that there is a lack of strategic planning or coordination with respect to programs and activities that include a focus on the use of health IT/EHRs by some of the ineligible provider types. Such strategic planning could assist in identifying gaps in current activities to advance the use of EHR technology by ineligible providers and support investments that maximally leverage and are aligned with current policy priorities, and are efficiently targeted.

This study described the importance of having good, reliable and nationally representative data regarding health IT/EHR adoption rates by ineligible providers in order to assesses the need for and effectiveness of investments that seek to advance the acquisition and/or use of health IT/EHRs by ineligible providers. This study also identified several factors that could be considered in estimating EHR adoption rates.

The study also included key considerations for policy makers to help inform them about the complexity of the policy implications for determining incentives and/or other funding opportunities to support the use of EHR technology by ineligible providers. These considerations include the extent to which market forces that have emerged in response to the EHR Incentive Programs and new delivery models such as those encouraged by the Affordable Care Act will drive adoption of interoperable EHR technologies across the health care continuum, including use of such technology by ineligible providers.

The study concluded that many of the health care providers not eligible for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, such as LTPAC and Behavioral Health providers, have a frequent need to exchange health information.  One of the key benefits of the use of health IT is the ability to exchange information to communicate and coordinate services on behalf of patients, and their physicians and entire care team who are often located in different geographic areas and practice settings. 

Advancing the adoption of certified EHR technology solutions by providers not eligible for the EHR Incentive Programs may support the realization of the goals associated with implementing a nationwide health IT infrastructure, new models of care delivery and coordination, and the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

The study proposes that filling critical gaps in standards is important to support the interoperable exchange of health information on behalf of vulnerable persons who receive services across the care continuum, including (but not limited to) health care providers who are not eligible for the EHR Incentive Programs. In addition, the specification of standards to support interoperable health information exchange is necessary but may not be sufficient to support the development and implementation of certified EHR technology solutions for these providers. Other actions, programs and initiatives will likely be needed to support and accelerate the use of certified EHR technology by health care providers not eligible for the EHR Incentive Programs.





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