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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 and the Forum of State Associations Urge Members to Participate in a March on the Capitol December 11, 2013

Home Care and Hospice Advocates Urged to Take Part In Person or Virtually
December 5, 2013 01:47 PM

NAHC is encouraging all of its members to join with other home care and hospice advocates next week for a March on the Capitol to highlight issues surrounding access to home care and hospice, including Medicare home health rebasing relief and protecting home care and hospice from further payment cuts and copays. 

RSVP Today: To RSVP, please send an email to Mike Wittke of the NAHC staff There is no registration fee for this event; however, attendees need to register so that NAHC can coordinate activities and be prepared with enough food and drinks for attendees.

NAHC recently updated its Legislative Action Network (NAHC LAN) to reflect new developments - including CMS' issuing its Final Rule on Rebasing, budget negotiations, and efforts to fix the flawed Medicare physician payment formula.  Even if you are unable to attend the March on the Capitol in person, you can participate virtually by sending a message to your Senators and Representatives urging them to:

1) Delay implementation of the rebasing rule and require CMS to reconsider the rule and set payment rates that ensure access to home health care services (Write Your Legislators), and

2) Reject any proposal to use home health (Write Your Legislators) or hospice (Write Your Legislators) payment cuts or copays as a means to offset the cost of fixing the Medicare physician payment formula, for deficit reduction, or other purposes.

Below, please find more details about next week's March on the Capitol:

What: NAHC and the Forum of State Associations have set the “March on the Capitol” for December 11, 2013, to coincide with the expected legislative action on the SGR or "Doc Fix" and next year’s budget.

When: Wednesday, December 11, 2013, beginning at 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Where: The staging area for the “March on the Capitol” will be at the NAHC Frederick Douglass Museum located at 320 A Street, N.E., in Washington, DC (three blocks east of the Capitol).

Why Now?: NAHC seeks to secure improvements in the recently issued Medicare rebased rates and to ensure that the Medicare home health benefit is exempted from any further cuts. Two major pieces of legislation will come before the Congress in what is expected to be the last days in which they will be in session in 2013.

For more information, please see November 13, 2013’s NAHC Report.

1) The Members of a Special House-Senate Budget Committee have until Friday, December 13 to report their recommended budget for 2014. NAHC seeks to make sure that neither across the board cuts nor copayments is included.

2) The Senate Finance Committee will be marking up the SGR extension or so-called “Doc Fix” whose purpose is to rescue Medicare participating physicians from about a 20 percent cut in their fees. This presents the home health community with the opportunity to secure congressional support for a rescission, improvement, or delay of the Medicare rate rule. In addition, home care must ensure that Congress does not look to home health or hospice for the offsetting revenues to make up for the cost of a permanent or short-term “doc fix.”

3) On November 22, CMS released their final “rebasing” rule updating the Medicare prospective payment system rate. NAHC’s position is that home care has already taken disproportionate cuts and should be exempted from any payment cuts, copayments or deductibles. NAHC and its allies are seeking relief directly from the House and Senate from the onerous and unwarranted rate rebasing regulation which may force more than half of all Medicare providers out of business by the end of 2017.

The Agenda: The March will begin with a briefing from NAHC staff and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) who has been NAHC’s top Democratic advocate. The breakfast is also a fundraiser with the suggested donation of $500 per person or $1,000 per PAC, but anyone who contributes any amount will be welcome to join the event that will be held at NAHC’s Frederick Douglass Museum located at 320 A Street, N.E., in Washington, DC. Following the briefing, participants will fan out on Capitol Hill making NAHC’s case to key members of Congress.

In the evening of Wednesday, December 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. those who can do so are welcome to join in the celebration of the birthday party for Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) who has been without peer as an advocate for home care and hospice. This too, is a fundraiser and a “thank you” party but the same rules apply as in the Stabenow event relating to contributions. The Collins event will be held at 500 North Capitol Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC.

Questions: Send an email to Mike Wittke or call 202-547-7424.




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