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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

ONC Considering the Development of A Voluntary EHR Certification Program for LTPAC; Home Care

November 26, 2013 04:33 PM

Providers of long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) services are highly anticipating the work of the Health IT Policy Committee (HITPC) Federal Advisory Committee (FACA) regarding a voluntary electronic health records (EHR) certification program that is meant to coordinate federal and private interest in certified EHR products that promote care coordination and information exchange across the spectrum of care. 

This new initiative by The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (IT) is part of a broader effort to encourage the exchange of health information by LTPAC providers with providers participating in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program under The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

ONC plans to target the voluntary certification program to providers who are not eligible to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. This includes LTPAC providers such as home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities and also behavioral health care providers. ONC’s Certification/Adoption Workgroup is developing the voluntary program.

The workgroup presented an update on its progress during the November 13 meeting of ONC's Health Information Technology Standards Committee (HITSC).

According ONC, the workgroup’s charge is to:

  • Recommend a process for prioritizing health IT capabilities for voluntary EHR certification that would improve interoperability across a greater number of care settings
  • Recommendations shall take into account previously adopted ONC certification criteria and standards and identify the key health IT capabilities needed in care settings by providers who are ineligible to receive EHR incentive payments under the HITECH Act

The scope of work for the voluntary certification program includes:

  • Recommend a process that could be used to identify and prioritize certification criteria for health IT that is used by “ineligible” providers and for which a voluntary ONC certification program would be helpful
  • Recommend a specific application of this process for EHRs used in LTPAC and behavioral health settings

The Certification/Adoption Workgroup expects to present its preliminary recommendations for the voluntary program to the HIT Policy Committee in Feb. 2014. Final recommendations will go to the HIT Policy Committee and the HIT Standards Committee in March 2014.

The Certification/Adoption Workgroup will be initiating a series of meetings to formulate its recommendations.  The first meeting is scheduled on Monday, December 2, 2013. 

Please click here for webinar and teleconference information.

NAHC’s affiliated Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA) recommends that home care agencies and EHR vendors engage in this important work so that we can advance the adoption of health IT in home care and strengthen the roll of home care in the delivery of care.

Questions remain unanswered that will only be addressed through community input, such as:

  • Would the voluntary certification program build on stakeholder support for the health improvement need?
  • Is stakeholder support sufficiently robust to enable long-term adoption of the voluntary certification program?
  • What additional actions could increase stakeholder support to adopt and use certified technology? 

Other Resources:

  • Certification Guidance for EHR Technology Developers Serving Health Care Providers Ineligible for Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Payments can be found here.
  • EHR Payment Incentives for Providers Ineligible for Payment Incentives and Other Funding Study can be found here.



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