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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 Recommends CMS Develop a PECOS Crisis Management Plan

December 30, 2013 12:12 PM

On January 6, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will trigger a home health services claims edit that will deny any claim where the certifying physician is not enrolled in Medicare. This action comes more than three years after the Affordable Care Act banned payment of any claim that did not involve a duly enrolled physician. The delays in implementation were due to a combination of CMS system problems and the slow speed of physician enrollment.

During those delays, CMS has done everything possible to facilitate physician enrollment. Likewise, the home health community has tried to assist physicians nationwide to understand the need for them to enroll. Great progress in that regard has been made. However, it appears that for whatever reason, the physicians have not fully complied. The VA physicians are particularly deficient - apparently because they still, mistakenly, believe that they do not need to enroll as they are not paid by Medicare for physician services.

To address problems that are expected to surface, NAHC recommended that CMS put in place a communication process to deal with the inevitable fallout that will start in January. While it is hoped that the problems will be limited in number, there is a near guarantee that there will be some. Home health agencies will have three bad choices when receiving care orders from a non-enrolled physician. First, they can accept the orders and provide care with neither Medicare reimbursement nor the ability to charge the patient. Second, they can deny admission to the patient.  Third, they can help the patient find a new physician who is Medicare enrolled. In these circumstances, the treating physician may finally take steps to enroll, but enrollment would not be effective for several weeks.

NAHC suggested to CMS that it set up a hotline or other communication approach that involved parties can use when the concerns arise. Home health agencies should not be criticized for the failure of physicians to take the simple steps necessary to enroll. CMS is certainly not blameworthy in any respect. Patients should not be relegated to confusion. Physicians may respond appropriately if the communication on enrollment responsibilities comes from Medicare rather than a home health agency. A hotline for physicians and patients will provide a way for CMS to gauge the extent of the problems facing stakeholders and to provide tailored guidance to those calling.

NAHC recommends that agencies develop their own crisis management plans to deal with affected patients. Those plans should include a list of alternative physicians, prepared communications to patients explaining the cause for a rejected admission, and a communique to affected physicians directing them to the enrollment process for future patient referrals.

NAHC will be tracking the impact of the January 6 physician enrollment edits. Agencies are encouraged to convey their experiences to NAHC in order to improve the possibilities of further short-term relief from the requirement.




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