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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

House Republican Debt Ceiling Proposal Contains Some Medicare and Medicaid Cuts; Does Not Include Home Care or Hospice Cuts or Copays

September 26, 2013 08:51 AM

The House Republican Leadership released a debt ceiling package earlier this week that laid out their core principals for funding the government and raising the amount it can borrow through the end of the year.

While the plan outlines some of the main priorities for the House’s GOP leadership – such as a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and moving forward with the Keystone Pipeline, it also offers some details on cost-savings from healthcare-specific proposals.

Proposals for savings from healthcare include Medicare means testing – such as the proposal that was also included in the President’s budget – and several cuts to Medicaid funding. While these provisions would be of concern to the home care and hospice community, the biggest threats to both beneficiaries and providers of such services – home care and hospice payment cuts and copays - were not included in the GOP’s debt ceiling proposal.  

The debt ceiling proposal is separate from the Continuing Resolution (CR) that keeps the government funded through October 1, and which has received significant attention recently. The former raises the borrowing limit the Federal Government is allowed to reach to pay for its current obligations while the latter authorizes spending to continue for government programs. The House originated both the debt ceiling package as well as the CR, which is currently being debated in the Senate.

If Congress does not pass the Continuing Resolution, the government will likely shut down on October 1 – the start of the Federal Government’s new fiscal year. If the debt ceiling is not raised, then the government will run out of money to pay for its current obligations on or around October 17, according to Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew. 

The House debt ceiling proposal has already been declared a nonstarter by Senate Democrats, who have said they will not negotiate over the debt ceiling and have insisted on a “clean” bill with no added provisions.

NAHC is encouraged that neither home care nor hospice payment cuts or copays are included in the House GOP’s debt ceiling proposal, and looks forward to continuing to work productively with lawmakers from both parties to ensure access to quality home care and hospice services are not restricted for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. 

The bigger fight for Medicare providers is expected to be over how to offset the cost of fixing the flawed Medicare physician payment formula, which Congress must address before the end of the year to prevent a 27 percent cut in physician payments (See NAHC Report, May 2, 2013). Home health copays and payment cuts have been discussed as possible offsets.  NAHC will continue its campaign to prevent this from happening.




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