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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

CR 8504 Medicare Benefit Policy Manual — RHC and FQHC Update — Chapter 13

December 27, 2013 09:50 AM

CMS has released updates to the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) services section of the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Publication 100-2. This includes revisions to the Hospice Attending Practitioner and Provision of Services to Hospice Patients in a RHC or FQHC sections.

The revisions clarify the hospice and RHC or FQHC relationship related to attending practitioner services, services related and unrelated to the terminal diagnosis and billing for these services. The sections are copied below for your convenience. Items in italics are the revisions.

The full CR can be accessed here.

200.1 - Hospice Attending Practitioner (Rev. 173, Issued: 11-22-13, Effective: 01-01-14, Implementation: 01-06-14)

Medicare beneficiaries who elect the Medicare hospice benefit may choose either an individual physician or NP to serve as their attending practitioner(Section 1861(dd) of the Act). RHCs and FQHCs are not authorized under the statute to be hospice attending practitioners. However, a physician or NP who works for a RHC or FQHC may provide hospice attending services during a time when he/she is not working for the RHC or FQHC (unless prohibited by their RHC or FQHC contract or employment agreement). These services would not be considered RHC or FQHC services,since they are not being provided by a RHC or FQHC practitioner during RHC or FQHC hours.

200.2 - Provision of Services to Hospice Patients in a RHC or FQHC (Rev. 173, Issued: 11-22-13, Effective: 01-01-14, Implementation: 01-06-14)

RHCs and FQHCs can treat hospice beneficiaries for medical conditions not related to their terminal illness. However, if a Medicare beneficiary who has elected the hospice benefit receives care from a RHC or FQHC related to his/her terminal illness, the RHC or FQHC cannot be reimbursed for the visit, even if it is a medically necessary, face-to- face visit with a RHC or FQHC provider, since that would result in duplicate payment for services, except under either of the following circumstances:

  • The RHC or FQHC has a contract with the hospice provider to furnish core hospice services related to the patient’s terminal illness and related conditions when extraordinary circumstances exist within the hospice. Extraordinary circumstances are described as “unanticipated periods of high patient loads; staffing shortages due to illness or other short-term temporary situations that interrupt patient care; and temporary travel of a patient outside the hospice’s service area” (42CFR 418.64);
  • The RHC or FQHC has a contract with the hospice provider to furnish highly specialized nursing services that are provided by the hospice so infrequently that it would be impractical and prohibitively expensive for the hospice to employ a practitioner to provide these services. For example, a hospice may infrequently have a pediatric patient, and in those situations, contract with a RHC or FQHC that has a pediatric nurse on staff to furnish hospice services to the patient.
  • In these situations, all costs associated with the provision of hospice services must be carved out of the RHC or FQHC cost report, and the RHC or FQHC would be reimbursed by the hospice. (42 CFR 418.64(b)(3)).

Any service provided to a hospice beneficiary by a RHC or FQHC practitioner must comply with Medicare prohibitions on commingling. (See section 90 of this chapter).




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