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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

NAHC Hosts Industry-Wide Teleconference

NAHC Staff Update the Home Care & Hospice Community on Pressing Issues Ranging from the Government Shutdown to Rebasing, the Companionship Exemption to the Face-to-Face Requirement
October 14, 2013 11:22 AM

Last week, NAHC hosted an industry-wide teleconference to share status updates on some of the most pertinent issues currently facing the home care & hospice community. During the hour-long call, topics ranged from the government shutdown and looming debt ceiling default to CMS’ rebasing proposal, the Department of Labor’s companionship exemption rule and numerous other topics that are currently of concern to home care & hospice providers.

The call was led by NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris with NAHC’s Vice President for Law, Bill Dombi; Vice President for Government Affairs Jeffrey Kincheloe; Richard Brennan, Vice President for Technology Policy and Government Affairs; and, Theresa Forster, Vice President for Hospice Policy and Programs all participating and sharing updates with the call’s participants as well.

NAHC’s President Val J. Halamandaris opened up the call by updating listeners on the ongoing government shutdown and looming debt ceiling default – stating that his belief is that there will be a deal reached on the debt ceiling, albeit a temporary one. Mr. Halamandaris also updated the call on recent changes that affect home care & hospice policy – specifically the rebasing rule from CMS and the companionship exemption rule from the Department of Labor.

With respect to the government shutdown and the rebasing rule, Mr. Dombi added that the shutdown has, “impacted our ability to advocate because CMS is shut down.”

What is at issue with the rebasing issue is a rule promulgated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in June would in effect lead to a 14 percent reduction in payment rates for vital home health services. This huge cut comes on top of 20.15 percent in rate cuts since 2008 and would leave providers with an average margin of -9.77 percent by 2017. The CMS proposal would “rebase” payment rates with a four year phase-in as required under the Affordable Care Act. The overreaching proposed rate cuts will result in payments far below the cost of services, thereby jeopardizing care to homebound elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries.

For more on CMS’ proposed rebasing rule, please click here for a September 25, 2013 NAHC Report article.

The companionship exemption rule change would also have dire consequences for the home care & hospice community. Under the Department of Labor rule change, the definition of Companionship Services, which has been in effect since 1975, would be totally redefined and a new category, “fellowship services,” is like, “buying a friend,” according to NAHC’s Vice President of Law Bill Dombi, continuing, “what most infirm individuals need is not to buy a friend. They need care.” 

For more on the Department of Labor’s Companionship Rule, please click here for a September 18, 2013 NAHC Report article.

NAHC’s industry-wide teleconference was announced because of the number of issues that are currently having significant impact on the home care & hospice community. Call attendees were urged to join their peers and colleagues at this year’s Annual Meeting & Exposition, being held October 31 – November 3 in Washington, DC.

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




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