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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’s Medicaid Council Reports on MACPAC Public Meeting

December 6, 2013 01:47 PM

On November 14, the National Council on Medicaid Home Care – a NAHC affiliate – sent Resource Director Steve Postal to attend the most recent MACPAC Public Meeting held in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC titled “Long-Term Care Commission: Report from the Commission’s Leadership.”  The meeting was led by Commission members Bruce Chernof, President & CEO of the SCAN Foundation, and Mark Warshawsky, Adjust Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Overview.  For the first half of the hour-long meeting, Mr. Chernof read through a slide deck highlighting the summary of the Commission’s final report to Congress.  The presentation focused on an overview of the Commission’s charge and activity, as well as its recommendations regarding service delivery, workforce, and financing.  A previous Council article on the Commission report, with a synopsis of the material relevant to Medicaid and/or home and community-based services (HCBS), can be found here.  For the second half of the meeting, the two Commissioners fielded questions.  Findings not previously addressed by the Council are found below.

Importance of uniform assessment tool.  One recurring theme in the meeting was the importance of a uniform assessment tool to determine LTSS eligibility and generate a single plan of care.  One such uniform assessment tool has been recently approved in Oregon for the state’s developmentally disabled population.  The Commissioners had “true consensus” on the issue of a uniform assessment tool, and recognized its importance to financial integration and savings. Mr. Chernof stated that CMS has been spending a lot of time developing this assessment, but to date it has not been launched.  Mr. Warshawsky chided CMS for “limping along” with this issue “for decades.”  In addition, Mr. Chernof stressed the importance of having family caregivers enfranchised in the creation of the beneficiary’s needs assessment and plan of care.

Commission suggests Medicaid LTSS demonstration to promote employment in disabled community.  Mr. Chernof briefly mentioned the need for the government to create a new demonstration to provide LTSS to the disabled, working population, with the intention of helping them to remain employed.  See page 62 of the Commission’s report, here, for details.

LTSS is for varied populations. Mr. Chernof also stressed that while the traditional conception of LTSS is for the elderly and retiree population, as that is from where most data is being collected, it is important to note that LTSS is also for eligible disabled and pediatric populations as well.  He called on stakeholders to invest in data gathering with regard to these populations.

Financing agreement not reached due to time constraints, desire for broader consensus.  Mr. Chernof explained that the primary reasons that a financing mechanism was not agreed on in the final report was because of time constraints, namely for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to score any hypothetical budget proposals.  Further, the members of the Commission were not prepared to discuss financials, as they lacked sufficient data, and only Mr. Warshawsky is a health economist.  The Commission also did not discuss a federal vs. state emphasis on financing as they wanted to reach a broader agreement in the Report.  Mr. Chernof stated that it was evident that “home and community based services should be prioritized above nursing homes, period,” but there was difference in opinion from conservative and progressive viewpoints as to how to accomplish this goal.

Housing benefits not discussed due to time constraints.  Mr. Warshawsky also discussed that the Commission did not discuss instituting a housing benefit as a supplement to LTSS due to time constraints.

The presentation’s utilization graphics.  Mr. Chernof’s presentation included several utilization graphics worth noting.  The slide deck can be found here (click on the slide deck of “Summary of Final Report of the Long-Term Care Commission.”  On slide 8, Mr. Chernof broke down populations needing long term services and supports (LTSS) using 2010 and 2012 data; with 0.6 million children, 5.4 million working age adults, and 6.7 million elderly needing LTSS.  This graph also shows that the majority of these populations need LTSS via high, medium, and low-need community care, rather than institutionalization. On slide 10, Mr. Chernof broke down LTSS expenditures by source in 2011, with Medicaid, at $131.4 billion, providing the majority (62.3%) of expenditures.  Finally, on page 16, Mr. Chernof gave a projection that the number of Americans that will need LTSS will more than double from 2010 figures (12 million) to 2050 (27 million).

Home care providers are encouraged to keep abreast of developments arising from the Commission’s report, and to contact the Council with any questions or concerns.
 

 

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