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National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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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

CMS Issues Updates on Hospice HQRP Data Entry and HIS Training

January 8, 2014 10:56 AM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its hospice quality contractors have issues two announcements related to hospice quality data collection and reporting. 

They are as follow:

  1. The Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) data entry and submission site is now available for registration and data submission (failure to submit this data – CY2013 data related to measure #0209 and the structural measure -- will result in a 2 percent reduction in FY2015 payment rates). New registration is required to submit the data collected during CY2013.
  2. Registration for the ON SITE Hospice Item Set (HIS) Feb. 4 and 5 data collection training is now open; you must register by Jan. 27. Information is also provided about live streaming of the sessions; no registration is required for live streaming.

The full text of the announcements is provided below:

The Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) Data Entry and Submission Site link is now available for FY 2015 Reporting Cycle Data Submission.

The Hospice Quality Reporting Data Entry and Submission site link is now available here

The site opened for user account registration, data entry, and submission of 2013 measure data on January 1, 2014.

This site will be utilized to enter and submit the 2013 Structural measure and the 2013 NQF #0209 Pain measure data to CMS for the FY2015 payment determination. Data for each measure must be submitted to CMS by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on April 1, 2014 for payment determination.

PLEASE NOTE:  User accounts that were established during the January 1, 2013 - April 1, 2013 submission period are no longer valid

Each individual submitting measure data during the Jan. 1, 2014 through April 1, 2014 submission period must register for a new account. 

The Technical User’s Guide for Hospice Quality Reporting Data Entry and Submission is also available as a download on theData Submission portionof the CMS HQRP website.  This is the primary reference for the HQRP Data Entry and Submission Site for the FY2015 Reporting Cycle.

Registration for the Hospice Item Set (HIS) Data Collection ON SITE Training is now available here.

Registration will be open until 11:59 PM ET on Monday, January 27, 2014.  The training will be held at the CMS Central Office in Baltimore, MD, on February 4 and 5 from 12:30-4:30 pm each day. Participants will need to attend both afternoons.

The session held on February 5 is not a repeat of the February 4 session, but includes unique material. The number of participants on-site will be limited and the number of in-person participants per hospice will be limited to one. Early registration is recommended.

To ensure access to the training for ALL hospices, the training will be live-streamed, and will also be recorded and posted on the CMS website for on-demand viewing. Instructions for live video-streaming access will be provided here.

No registration is required for video-streaming.If you are unable to live-stream the HIS Data Collection Training, videos of the trainings will be posted on the same site shortly after the training is complete.

This training will cover the data collection portion of the HIS only. Detailed training on the technical submission processes and data submission software will be provided in May. Additional information about that training and the associated registration will be announced at a later date.

The HIS Data Collection Training will closely follow along with the HIS Manual, which will be available on the CMS HQRP website in late January. A PDF version of the PowerPoint slide presentation will also be made available online prior to the training. In-person training participants are encouraged to print out a copy of the manual and the slide presentation before the training, as printed materials will not be provided at the training.




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