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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/HCTAA Comment On Voluntary EHR Certification Program During HITPC Adoption and Certification Workgroup Virtual Hearing

December 24, 2013 12:02 PM

After the announcement that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) was considering the development of a voluntary EHR certification Program for Long-Term Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) providers - which includes home care and hospice - the National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s affiliated Home Care Technology Association (HCTAA) has been an active stakeholder in providing public comments, written comments, and provider and vendor witnesses for testimony at public hearings.

For more on this issue, please see NAHC Report, November 26, 2013.

To further consider this issue, the Health IT Policy Committee’s (HITPC) Adoption and Certification Workgroup - which is tasked with developing 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 - recently held a virtual hearing to provide stakeholders the opportunity to express their recommendations to the committee.

A link to the hearing can be found here.  

Lisa Harvey McPherson, Eastern Maine Homecare, testified on the provider panel and Karen Utterback, McKesson, testified on the vendor panel.

As part of the provider panel, Lisa provided an update on Eastern Maine Homecare and their work in the ONC Beacon Community program, the Pioneer ACO program and their role in the development of HealthInfoNet, the state of Maine’s (HIE) health information exchange.  She stated, “What we know today because of the advancement of the Beacon Community and the building out of HealthInfoNet is that health information exchange is integral to how we deliver care for home care and hospice.” 

Karen Utterback spoke on behalf of McKesson and recommend that the transmission of a Consolidated-CDA [summary care record] using standard messaging protocols such as Direct Messaging Protocols or publishing and consuming information through standards-based health information exchange could support LTPAC transitions of care and care coordination but stopped short of recommending a federally developed EHR certification program.

HCTAA provided written comments and recommendations for the hearing. HCTAA’s Executive Director, Richard Brennan, also provided a three-minute public statement before the full HITPC.  Brennan stated that:

“I want you [the committee] to know that although we are all lumped together, that LTPAC is not the same, and that home health is a standout.  What I am most concerned with is that there are new models of care from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are requiring certified EHRs for providers to participate in those programs as well as states, such as Minnesota, that is requiring an ONC certified EHR or an equivalent functional EHR that has both functionality such as a (CPOE) computerized physician order entry and transmission standards such as the ability to send and receive a summary of care record built into those requirements that takes affect in January 2015.  So we are running out of time for the federal government to initiate a program but appreciate the time that you are taking to look at this topic and feel that it is a very important topic.  We are willing to help in anyway possible to advance this cause.”

HCTAA will continue to engage with the committee and is committed to working with other stakeholders and federal partners to determine the most appropriate action that would benefit home care and hospice providers and that patients they serve.

To view HCTAA’s written comments, please click here.





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