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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’s Legislative Year in Review: Some Important Successes and Some Battles Left to Fight

January 7, 2014 10:16 AM

After a year filled with challenges for the home care and hospice community, 2013 ended on a positive note with several important successes. Both the House and Senate were able to agree on a budget deal that saw no new Medicare home health or hospice payment cuts and no home health or hospice copayments - two significant victories for NAHC and its members. Congress returned this week for the second session of the 113th Congress.

For more on the budget deal please see NAHC Report from December 17, 2013.

In terms of other success during the year, NAHC saw legislative accomplishments with respect to the introduction of the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act that would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to sign home health plans of care; the introduction of the Hospice Evaluation and Legitimate Payment (HELP) Act that would refine the hospice face-to-face requirement, require a demonstration of hospice payment reform, and increase hospice survey frequency; and the introduction of a bill that would modify the Affordable Care Act to define full time for purposes of the ACA employer obligations as 40 hours rather than 30 hours.

2013 also saw the inclusion of several NAHC-initiated pieces of legislation in the broader Senate Medicare physician payment fix package (SGR) - which Congress is scheduled to take up in the coming months. Both the Fostering Independence Through Technology (FITT) Act and a bill to allow physician assistants to act as the hospice attending physician were included in the Senate’s language.

For more on the introduction of the nurse practitioner bill, please click here.

For more on the FITT Act, please click here.

For more on the HELP Act, please click here.

To learn more about preserving access to home care under the ACA, please click here for NAHC’s efforts to modify the employer mandate under the ACA, and  click here for more on the 40 Hours is Full Time legislation.

For more on the campaign to require CMS to reconsider the Home Health rebasing rule, please click here.

For more on the campaign to oppose home health copays and payment cuts, please click here.

For more on the campaign to oppose hospice copays and payment cuts, please click here.

For more on the campaign to preserve the companions services exemption, please click here.

While 2013 saw many successes, challenges loom large for providers of home care and hospice services. Both CMS' flawed and misguided rebasing rule and the Department of Labor's new companionship rule could have serious consequences with respect to both access to home care and the providers’ ability to keep their doors open. NAHC issued many resources on both subjects during 2013 to make the strongest case possible that both rules could result in access to vital home health services being restricted.

During 2013, NAHC and its legislative allies in both the House and Senate were very active in demonstrating their opposition to CMS’ rebasing rule. In the Senate, a Dear Colleague letter circulated which garnered the signatures of 51 Senators opposing the proposed rebasing rule. Additionally, Senate Small Business Committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) both sent their own letters to CMS opposing the rebasing rule.

In the House, 143 Representatives from diverse political backgrounds signed onto a Dear Colleague letter opposing CMS’ rebasing efforts. Even though a legislative fix could not be completed before year’s end, NAHC and many of its supporters remain committed to overturning or modifying CMS’ rebasing rule.

In 2014, NAHC’s March on Washington aims to pick up where 2013 left off – in terms of both continuing with legislative successes as well as fighting to overturn rules that will harm thehome care community.

NAHC encourages all of its members to join with their colleagues and peers during this year’s March on Washington – March 23 – 26 in Washington, DC – to continue make the strongest case possible for preserving access to quality home care and hospice services.

Please click here to learn more about this year’s March on Washington.




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