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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

Heath 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

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

Senate Special Committee on Aging Holds a Hearing on Long-Term Care Policy

December 23, 2013 02:05 PM

On December 18, 2013, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing entitled “The Future of Long-Term Care Policy: Continuing the Conversation.” Michelle Martin, the Policy Director for the National Council on Medicaid Home Care -  an affiliate of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) - attended the hearing.  The hearing was attended by a handful of Senators: Chairman Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jon Manchin (D-WV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Tim Scott (R-SC). The four witnesses during the hearing were:

  • Judy Feder, Professor, Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy and Fellow, Urban Institute;
  • Mark J. Warshawsky, Visiting Adjunct Scholar, American Enterprise Institute (former Chair of LTC Commission);
  • Bruce Chernof, President and Chief Executive Officer, The SCAN Foundation (former Vice Chair of LTC Commission); and
  • Anne Tumlinson, Senior Vice President, Avalere Health.

The Senators and witnesses agreed that long-term care, whether received in an individual’s home or in a nursing home, is an area that is growing in terms of individuals needing care but remains sorely underfunded and misunderstood.  The general public is unaware of the lack of coverage for long-term care offered by health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.  How to successfully address the funding issue is where the Senators and panelists differed in their views.  Senator Scott agreed with Mr. Warshawsky, opining that the private sector holds the answers and the possibility of market-based incentives would cause individuals to seek long-term care coverage.  Senators Baldwin, Warren, and Whitehouse took greater interest in the idea of a public social insurance mechanism put forth by Judy Feder. Anne Tumlinson made the point that, regardless of a public, private or hybrid financing model, there needs to be some type of mandate in order to create a risk pool large enough to be sustainable. While the Committee reached no conclusions on the topic of how to fund long term care needs, the importance of working to develop solutions was very clear to all of the Senators.

During the question and answer session, Senator Collins brought up the homebound requirement. She noted that the requirement is outdated and forces institutionalization for patients who would prefer to receive care in their homes.  Senator Collins questioned whether the requirements for the home health benefit should be changed to remove the functionality requirement that a patient be homebound.  Dr. Chernoff agreed that the requirement should be revisited but must be balanced against inappropriately driving up utilization. NAHC agrees with and applauds Senator Collins for her understanding of the homebound requirement and its detriment to patients who prefer to receive care in their home.


As the baby boomers age, the need for quality home care will continue to grow. How to fund home care, and all types of long-term care, is a topic that cannot be avoided any longer. We must work to develop useful solutions that will provide financing for home care now and well into the future. No person should be forced into poverty in order to receive care or into a care situation that does not suit their wishes. NAHC appreciates the attention the Senate Special Committee on Aging has given to long term care needs and stands ready to assist in working toward a solution that protects our nation’s most valuable and vulnerable citizens.




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