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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

NAHC Year in Review: Health Information Technology Policy and Legislation

December 27, 2013 09:53 AM

2013 was an eventful year within the health IT realm for home care and hospice providers. Below are the most significant developments for the home care and hospice community with respect to Health IT policy and legislation compiled by NAHC and its affiliate Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA):

FITT Act Introduced

During the National Association for Home Care and Hospice’s annual March on Washington, Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) re-introduced legislation to expand the use of telehealth technology under Medicare to reduce hospital re-admissions in rural and underserved communities across the country.

The bipartisan Fostering Independence Through Technology (FITT) Act - S. 596 - would create pilot programs to provide incentives for home health agencies to use remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology to better monitor Medicare beneficiaries, improve health outcomes, and reduce Medicare expenditures.

The FITT Act was ultimately included and approved by voice vote as an amendment in the Senate’s SGR – or “doc fix” – legislation before the Senate adjourned for the year.

For more in the FITT Act, please click here.

For more details on the FITT Act being accepted as an amendment during the Senate Finance Committee markup, please click here.

Voluntary Certification Advocacy

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 ReportNovember 26, 2013.

For more on HCTAA’s voluntary certification advocacy, please click here.

Meaningful Use Stage 3 Comments - Including New HL7 HH-POC standard

Both the Home Health Plan of Care (HH-PoC) and Transfer of Care (ToC) standards were certified by HL7 this year and are moving into piloting stage.  This encompassed two years of work within the S&I Framework Longitudinal Coordination of Care (LCC) Work Group.

The Longitudinal Coordination of Care (LCC) Initiative has launched the Pilot phase for the LCC Transfer of Care and Care Plan/Home Health Plan of Care (HHPoC). The purpose of the Pilot phase is to implement the evolving technology in real-world situations and aid in learning the policies that will be required for an operational system, identify barriers for implementation, and revise reference implementations and harmonized specifications based on real-world lessons learned.

The implementations will be transitioned to open source communities for long-term sustainment. LCC is seeking organizations that may be interested in participating as a Pilot Site

For more on NAHC and HCTAA’s activity surrounding Meaningful Use Stage 3, please click here.

HCTAA Safe Harbor Comments

The Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA) submitted comments to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) regarding the solicitation of new safe harbors and special fraud alerts with respect to home health and hospice agencies and their ability to share information and their use of information technology. HCTAA is an affiliate of NAHC, and was founded in 2005 to support initiatives that encourage the use of health information technology in the home care setting.

The HCTAA comments emphasize that:

In most cases, the delivery of quality home health care and hospice services is very dependent upon the collaboration and exchange of health information across the continuum of care with our physician partners and with hospital systems.  Therefore, we believe it is imperative that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) through the Office of Inspector General (OIG) consider extending safe harbor provisions to protect the ability home health care and hospice providers to receive donations by hospitals of electronic health records software or information technology and training services.

For more information on HCTAA’s safe harbor comments, please click here.

NAHC/HCTAA Technology Demonstrations

The National Association of Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), and its affiliate Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA) worked with several home care providers to demonstrate to Members of Congress the value, promise and potential that telehealth holds for those who need home healthcare.

Representatives from NAHC and HCTAA were joined by Pat Laff, Managing Principal at Laff Associates in Hilton Head, SC; and Anna Doyle, RN, Patient Advocate & Telehealth Specialist with THA Group in Savannah, GA. The group provided comprehensive telehealth demonstrations to several members of the Georgia and South Carolina Congressional delegations. The meetings were set up, and the technology was brought, by representatives from THA Group.

For more on the NAHC/HCTAA remote patient monitoring demonstrations for Members of Congress, please click here.




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