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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 Issues Report on Illinois Medicaid Reimbursement for Hospice Claims

September 27, 2013 02:38 PM

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently released the report Illinois Did Not Always Properly Claim Medicaid Reimbursement for Hospice Claims.   Previous OIG reviews found that states did not always comply with federal and state requirements for hospice claims.  This report is the second released this month from the OIG regarding compliance with Medicaid hospice requirements. 

The objective of the review was to determine whether Illinois properly claimed federal Medicaid reimbursement for hospice claims submitted by hospices in Illinois.  The review included a random sample of 120 hospice claims of $100 or more paid to Illinois hospices between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.  The sample of claims came from 42 Illinois hospices.

The OIG found that the Illinois Medicaid program properly claimed federal Medicaid reimbursement for 81 percent of the claims (97 out of 120).  It is expected that the OIG request a refund of any federal Medicaid dollars paid to a state agency for improper claims; however, the dollar amount paid by the federal government for the 23 improper claims was determined to be immaterial.  Because of this the OIG did not demand a refund. 

There was a variety of reasons that the OIG cited for the improperly claimed funds, including:

  • State agency did not ensure patient credits applied to claims were correct or adjusted when necessary (11 claims)
  • State agency did not ensure claims were priced correctly or adjusted when necessary (10 claims)
  • Hospice did not meet the physician certification requirements (1 claim)
  • Hospice allowed a potentially unqualified worker to perform hospice services (1 claim)
  • Hospice claimed the incorrect amount and level of service (1 claim) and
  • Hospice did not meet election statement requirements (52)
    • Hospices did not ensure election statements contained required language (50 claims), and
    • Hospices did not retain the election statements (2 claims)

Additionally, the OIG identified that the state agency did not have a uniform election statement for use by all hospices.  In the absence of such a form, the hospice used its own form.  Problems with the election statements centered around the waiver and acknowledgement requirements.  Specifically, the OIG found:

  • For 50 claims, the hospice election statements did not include a waiver of all rights to Medicaid payments for hospice care provided by a hospice other than the hospice designated by the individual
  • For 10 claims, the hospice election statements did not include a waiver of all rights to Medicaid payments for services related to the treatment of the terminal condition or a related condition for which hospice care was elected or services equivalent to hospice care
  • For 2 claims, the hospice election statements did not include the individual’s acknowledgement that he or she had been given a full understanding of hospice care as an alternative to traditional covered Medicaid services

The state agency concurred with the findings of the review and corrected some while the review was being conducted.  The OIG recommended that the state agency develop and implement a uniform hospice election statement as well as ensure that hospice claims are processed correctly, and adjusted when necessary, to meet Medicaid reimbursement requirements and monitor hospices to ensure that federal and state requirements are met with regard to physician certification, the use of qualified workers, and election statement content and retention.  The OIG has had state Medicaid compliance with federal reimbursement requirements on its Annual Work Plan for several years.




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