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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

CMS Announced PECOS Activation for January 6, 2014

November 8, 2013 04:34 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the full implementation of the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) edits onordering/referring providers in Medicare Part B, DME, and Part A home health agency (HHA) claims. CMS will turn on the Phase 2 denial edits beginning January 6, 2014. This means that Medicare will deny claims for services or supplies that require an ordering/referring provider to be identified - and that provider is not identified, is not in Medicare's enrollment records, or is not of a specialty type that may order/refer the service/item being billed.

This will be the second attempt by CMS to implement the PECOS edits. CMS issued a Special Edition MLN Matters® Articleon March 1, 2013, that announced the full implementation of the PECOS edits effective May 1, 2013, however, due to technical issues delayed the implementation.

This announcement reiterates the rational for the requirement and CMS’ implementation policy for ensuring that only physicians who are eligible to order and refer home health services are reported on claims with a their associated national provider identifier (NPI). The following is an excerpt  from the MLN Matters®:

“The Affordable Care Act, Section 6405, “Physicians Who Order Items or Services are required to be Medicare Enrolled Physicians or Eligible Professionals,” requires physicians or other eligible professionals to be enrolled in the Medicare Program to order or refer items or services for Medicare beneficiaries. Some physicians or other eligible professionals do not and will not send claims to a Medicare contractor for the services they furnish and therefore may not be enrolled in the Medicare program. Also, effective January 1, 1992, a physician or supplier that bills Medicare for a service or item must show the name and unique identifier of the attending physician on the claim if that service or item was the result of an order or referral. Effective May 23, 2008, the unique identifier was determined to be the NPI. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented edits on ordering and referring providers when they are required to be identified in Part B clinical laboratory and imaging, DME, and Part A HHA claims from Medicare providers or suppliers who furnished items or services as a result of orders or referrals.

Below are examples of some of these types of claims:

  • Claims from clinical laboratories for ordered tests;
  • Claims from imaging centers for ordered imaging procedures;
  • Claims from suppliers of Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and  Supplies (DMEPOS) for ordered DMEPOS; and
  • Claims from Part A Home Health Agencies (HHA).

Only physicians and certain types of non-physician practitioners are eligible to order or refer items or services for Medicare beneficiaries. They are as follows:

  • Physicians (doctor of medicine or osteopathy, doctor of dental medicine, doctor of dental surgery, doctor of podiatric medicine, doctor of optometry, optometrists may only order and refer DMEPOS products/services and laboratory and X-Ray services payable under Medicare Part B.)
  • Physician Assistants,
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists,
  • Nurse Practitioners,
  • Clinical Psychologists,
  • Interns, Residents, and Fellows,
  • Certified Nurse Midwives, and
  • Clinical Social Workers.
Physicians and others who are eligible to order and refer items or services need to establish their Medicare enrollment record and must be of a specialty that is eligible to order and refer. Physicians and others who are eligible to order and refer items or services need to establish their Medicare enrollment record with a valid NPI and must be of a specialty that is eligible to order and refer. If the ordering/referring provider is listed on the claim, the edits will verify that the provider is enrolled in Medicare. The edits will compare the first four letters of the last name. When submitting the CMS-1500 or the CMS-1450, please only include the first and last name as it appears on the ordering and referring file found here on the CMS website.


CMS began Phase 1 of the PECOS edits on October 5, 2009, which alerts the billing provider, through informational messages on remittance advices, when  the identification of the ordering/referring provider is missing, incomplete, or invalid, or that the ordering/referring provider is not eligible to order or refer.

Effective January 6, 2014, Phase 2 of the PECOS edits will begin. CMS will turn on the edits to deny Part B clinical laboratory and imaging, DME, and Part A HHA claims that fail the ordering/referring provider edits.

CMS has clarified, in accord with Change Request 8356-  Handling of Incomplete or Invalid Claims once the Phase 2 Ordering and Referring Edits are Implemented, that claims submitted identifying an ordering/referring provider and the required matching NPI is missing will be rejected.

Additionally, CMS has reversed their previous instructions to clarifythat claims be denied because they failed the ordering/referring edit will not expose a Medicare beneficiary to liability. Therefore, an Advance Beneficiary Notice is not appropriate in this situation.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice will continue to report updated information related to PECOS edit implementation as it becomes available.

To view the full MLN Matters© article click here.




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