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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

An Update on the Government Shutdown for Home Care & Hospice

October 10, 2013 01:37 PM

The partial shutdown of the Federal government is now well into its second week. As reported in a previous NAHC Report article:

“The home health and hospice community likely will be minimally affected since Medicare and Medicaid are entitlement programs that are deemed “mandatory spending” and therefore not part of the government’s discretionary spending negotiations. At this point, it looks likely that Medicare payments to providers would continue unabated, yet slowdowns in payments are still possible depending on how CMS staff or contractors are affected.”

Both Democrats and Republicans continue to blame the other side for the impasse, yet negotiations appear to be slowly taking shape – a group of Democratic lawmakers met with the President at the White House earlier this week. Another meeting was held at the White House between the President and Republican lawmakers.

At this point, it appears likely that negotiations to fund the government will get tied to the looming debate on raising the debt ceiling. If the debt ceiling issue is not resolved by October 17, the U.S. Government will default on it loan payments as well as other obligations - which would be both unprecedented and potentially disastrous for the economy as well an entitlement programs such as  Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.   

Earlier this week, House Speaker John Boehner proposed a six-week increase in the debt ceiling – extending it to November 22. This proposal would help to fund the government’s existing obligations while also giving Congressional negotiators time to reach an agreement on a more sweeping “Grand Bargain.”

Under the proposal, the six-week extension would allow for talks on a broader fiscal package that could enact changes to entitlement programs and the Tax Code, fund the government, and lift the debt limit for a longer period of time, according to GOP sources familiar with the Speaker’s plan. The government shutdown would, however, remain in effect and negotiated separately.

Of most pressing concern for the home care and hospice community if such a “Grand Bargain” approach is taken would be any provisions to entitlement reform – particularly to Medicare. During the last round of negotiations for such a “Grand Bargain” – which ultimately faltered - many of the recommendations from the Simpson-Bowles Commission were included.

NAHC has long opposed many of the Simpson-Bowles recommendations – including additional cuts to Medicare funding and the imposition of a uniform 20 percent copay across all Medicare sectors, including home health and hospice.  For home health, this recommendation would mean a copay of approximately $600 for a 60 day episode of care.  For the typical stay in hospice, it would mean a copay of approximately $2,300. 

The President in his budget proposed a $100 copay on home health episodes not preceded by a hospital or nursing home stay, beginning in 2017 for those beneficiaries who become eligible for Medicare in 2017 or later.  The President also has proposed a 1.1 percentage point cut in the inflation update for post acute payments over the next ten years, including home health.

With so many Congressional developments that could impact home health and hospice on the immediate horizon in Washington, it is vitally important that members of NAHC attend this year’s annual meeting in Washington and join in the home care and hospice community lobby day on Thursday, October 31. Please see NAHC Report from October 8 for more details. 

To register to attend NAHC’s Annual Meeting, please click here.





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