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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

South Carolina Signs Memorandum of Understanding with CMS - Becoming the Eighth State to Adopt Medicare-Medicaid Dual Eligibles Initiative

The National Council on Medicaid Home Care – a NAHC Affiliate – Issues In-Depth Issue Brief on the South Carolina Program
November 21, 2013 10:59 AM

On October 25, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing the Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative (MMAI) in South Carolina (the Demonstration). South Carolina is now the eighth state to implement the MMAI, after Massachusetts, Washington, Ohio, Illinois, California, Virginia, and New York.  

Fifteen other states have active proposals submitted to CMS.  The MMAI is a joint federal and state project that seeks to improve care and reduce costs associated with beneficiaries eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, or “dual eligibles.”  Minnesota has signed a dual eligibles demonstration independent of the MMAI.

In South Carolina, the Demonstration is called the Health Connections Prime program. It functions to enroll dual eligibles into managed care plans called Coordinated and Integrated Care Organizations (CICOs), and provide long-term care services and supports (LTSS).  Starting no earlier than July 1, 2014, the Demonstration will eventually coordinate care to approximately 54,000 dual eligibles and encompass all counties of the state.

The MOU and its appendices “are not intended to create contractual or other legal rights between the parties,” so details will be provided in future three way contracts between CMS, SCDHHS, and the CICOs.

Overview of the Demonstration

The Demonstration will begin no earlier than July 1, 2014, and continue until December 31, 2017.  South Carolina has opted for a capitation model, where CMS, SCDHHS, and the CICOs enter into three-way contracts in which each plan receives a prospective blended Medicare/Medicaid payment to provide coordinated and comprehensive care.  SCDHHS will provide the CICOs the Medicaid component of the rate, while CMS will provide payments for Medicare Parts A, B, and D. CICOs may subcontract services. 

Key objectives for the Demonstration include independent living and self-direction to foster improved quality of care and care transitions, fewer health disparities, reduced costs to CMS and SCDHHS, and the end of cost-shifting between Medicare and Medicaid.  The Demonstration also creates a great opportunity for home care as it prioritizes re-balancing of care towards community-based systems and away from the institutional setting, in a “phased transition of roles and responsibilities of home and community based service (HCBS) [from the state] to the CICOs.”  This phased transition will be discussed further below. 

The Demonstration will focus on shifting LTSS from the institutional setting to a home and community-based setting.  Specifically, CICOs must give Participants benefits “in a care setting appropriate to [their] needs, with a preference for the home and the community…in the least restrictive and most integrated home and community setting, and in accordance with the Enrollee’s wishes and Individualized Care Plan.” 

To view the National Council on Medicaid Home Care’s full Issue Brief, please click here.




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