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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

NAHC President Comments on CMS’ Final Rule on Rebasing

CMS Turns A Deaf Ear to the Pleas of Aged, Infirm, Disabled and Dying Americans
November 25, 2013 03:38 PM

Val J. Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) took “sharp exception” to a final rule published last Friday, November 22, 2013 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The final rule, for the most part, confirmed a proposed rule, issued in July, which will cut the Medicare home health benefit by $22 billion over the next four years.

“Congress asked CMS,” Halamandaris said, “to do a comprehensive evaluation of the home health benefit, to isolate what works and what needs improvement, how to increase access and efficiency, and how to reduce costs while improving the quality of care. CMS did none of this. Instead, all they did was look to impose the largest possible cut —3.5 percent a year — on the Medicare home health benefit. This adds up to 14 percent over the next four years, or a total of $22 billion.”

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has produced studies showing that the Medicare home health benefit has already endured more than its fair share of cuts. The benefit has been cut a disproportionate $78 billion since 2009. Add in the newly imposed cut and $100 billion in cuts will have been taken from the most popular and most-needed Medicare program. And as a result of these cuts by the end of 2017, 75 percent of Medicare-certified agencies will be forced under water with profit margins of zero or less.

“The clear conclusion is that saving money is more important to CMS than serving those who are so sick they cannot leave home without assistance,” Halamandaris pointed out. “It is obvious that they turned a deaf ear to our pleas on behalf of aged, infirm, disabled, and dying Americans.”

“There is no way,” he continued, “that CMS can claim they did not know their actions would result in regulatory mandated bankruptcies. The regulations issued by CMS are therefore confiscatory, depriving patients of an opportunity to do business with Medicare without due process of law. CMS’s decision has the collateral effect of making it impossible for the states to comply with the Olmstead decision of 1999. In this groundbreaking ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court instructed the states that patients have the right to be cared for at home and that every reasonable option must be examined before patients can be placed in an institution.”

“We regret that CMS did not take action to perfect and improve the Medicare home health benefit,” said Halamandaris. “They had the chance to increase access and cut red tape, to make the program more efficient, and improve care while lowering cost. As a result of this missed opportunity, thousands if not millions of Medicare patients will lose the right to receive home care services. While we are disappointed, we do not intend to stand by and watch the home care community being decimated and patients deprived of their right to receive home care under the law. Congress made the law and only Congress has the power to restrict or limit its application. We intend to appeal to Congress to repair this great injustice. If necessary, we will ask senior and disability groups to join us in bringing a law suit against CMS. Together, we will fight to dismantle the new rules that present unconstitutional obstacles to Medicare patients receiving the home care services to which they are entitled under the law.”   

 

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