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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

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

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.

Former President Bill Clinton

OIG Reviews Rhode Island Hospice GIP Claims Under Medicaid

September 26, 2013 03:06 PM

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report based on a review that was completed of the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services Office of Medicaid’s payments for hospice general inpatient services (GIP).  The purpose of the review was to determine whether the state agency made Medicaid payments for hospice GIP services in accordance with federal and state regulations. 

A prior OIG review found Medicaid overpayments to hospice providers that submitted and received reimbursement for claims that did not meet the requirements for GIP and should have been billed as routine home care. All of the unallowable services were provided in a nursing home setting.  The OIG has had GIP care and state Medicaid compliance with federal reimbursement requirements on its Annual Work Plan for several years and has had hospice care in nursing homes on the annual OIG work plan for several years, as well.

There are less than 10 hospice providers in Rhode Island - and the reviewed claims were from a single agency that has a 24-bed inpatient hospice facility where it provides GIP services. It also provides GIP care in contracted hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.  Directed by the OIG, the state Medicaid agency performed a review of 43 of the hospice’s GIP claims from 2007-2010.   The claims were for 25 hospice patients.  The OIG found that 15 of the 43 claims were paid for care that should have been billed at the routine home care level of care. 

The OIG stated this occurred because the state Medicaid agency and the hospice did not have adequate internal controls.  The total amount of the overpayment was $28,321 with $17,114 being the federal share.  The OIG recommended that the state Medicaid agency refund this portion to the federal government.  The OIG also recommended that the state agency strengthen internal controls, such as issuing guidance to hospices that better define the circumstances for billing at the GIP care level and consider performing additional medical reviews of hospice GIP care services performed in the nursing home setting.   

The agency responded to the OIG findings. In general, it agreed that all but one of the claims could be billed at the routine home care level of care.  The OIG is allowing the hospice to work with the state’s medical reviewer on this case and it adjusted the federal government reimbursement amount accordingly.

The report details the reasons the claims did not support a GIP level of care.  In general, it was insufficient documentation in the hospice’s medical records to show increased pain and symptom management that would justify the GIP level of care.  NAHC and its affiliate, the Hospice Association of America (HAA), reminds hospices that the GIP level of care is short term and intended to provide pain and symptom management that cannot be accomplished in another setting.  One would expect that in reviewing documentation for the GIP level of care, there is evidence of interventions implemented for the pain/symptom(s) at a different level of care that did not adequately control the pain/symptom(s) and, therefore, the patient needs the GIP level of care. 




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