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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 Vice Chair Lucy Andrews Emphasizes the Impact that the Companionship Rule will Have on Public Programs such as Medicare and Medicaid During Capitol Hill Testimony

December 9, 2013 11:01 AM
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Lucy Andrews

On November 20, Lucy Andrews, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), testified before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, in a hearing titled “Redefining Companion Care: Jeopardizing Access to Affordable Care for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities.” 

For previous NAHC Report coverage, please click here.

In her testimony, she expressed NAHC’s opposition to the new Department of Labor rule (The Rule) eliminating the companionship services exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The Rule essentially eliminates home care services from being exempt from requiring overtime compensation.  To see the full text of the Rule, click here.

Ms. Andrews discussed that mandating overtime compensation in home care, based on past experiences, would cause:

  • Moderate to significant increases in care costs;
  • Restrictions in overtime hours to the detriment of the workers’ overall compensation;
  • Loss of service quality and continuity; and
  • Increased costs passed on to the patients and public programs, including Medicaid, which would in turn:
    • decrease service utilization;
    • increase unregulated “grey market” care purchases; and
    • increase institutional care utilization rather than absorbing and covering the higher cost of care.

Ms. Andrews also discussed how government programs like Medicaid are “not an endless source of funding” and that Medicaid expenditures are “taxing all state budgets” with “provider payment rates are going down rather than increasing as costs rise.”  The decreasing Medicaid reimbursements, she said, would “force me to make some very hard decisions in order to continue care. I will either need to restrict their working hours or increase my charges to my clients.”

To see a link to the hearing’s webpage, including submitted testimonies and photos, click here.

Ms. Andrews concluded by stating that while NAHC primarily supports the rescinding of the recent final rule, it alternatively calls on the Administration and Congress to provide supplemental Medicaid payments for the overtime now required.  Failure to do so will risk greater institutionalizations as a result of decreased quality of care. 

The testimony delivered on behalf of NAHC echoed the National Council on Medicaid Home Care – a NAHC affiliate’s - position on the Rule.  If unfunded, the Rule poses a threat to the financial viability of home care providers, and the provision of care to the nation’s most vulnerable.  Home care providers are encouraged to keep abreast of Companionship Services FLSA Exemption developments on CMS’ website, and to contact the Council with any questions or concerns.

 

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