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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

CMMI Requests Applications for New Demonstration Project

February 7, 2014 02:32 PM

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) recently released a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Frontier Community Health Integration Project (FCHIP), a new demonstration project that will test new models of integrated care in the most sparsely populated rural counties. Although home health agencies are not eligible to apply directly to CMS, the program does present an opportunity for home health agencies to partner with critical access hospitals (CAHs) in certain geographic areas to “improv[e] access to, and better integrat[e] the delivery of acute care, extended care, and other essential health care services to Medicare beneficiaries.”

Authorized by Section 123 of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA), as amended by Section 3126 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this three-year demonstration project aims to “increase the availability and accessibility of services that are often not financially viable given the low patient volumes of remote and sparsely populated areas” and to “decrease the number of avoidable hospital admissions, readmissions, and avoidable transfers to tertiary facilities, such that there is no net increase in Medicare spending for the affected population.”

Because of statutory limitations included in Section 123 of MIPPA, CMS is currently only accepting applications from critical access hospitals (CAHs) located in Alaska, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Wyoming and will select awardees from no more than four of these five states. However, while the primary applicant must be a CAH from one of these states, there are opportunities for other health care providers – including home health agencies – to participate in the program by partnering with a CAH.

These opportunities are outlined in CMS’ RFA. Each applicant is required to describe how it will enhance health care services in four areas to better serve the community’s needs: 1) telemedicine; 2) nursing facility care within the CAH; 3) home health services; and 4) ambulance services. Applicants who create new or expanded service delivery models that address unmet needs in the community – including increased access to quality care – will receive additional Medicare resources. In some instances, these resources may also be available to the health care providers with whom the CAH is partnering. CMS stated in the RFA, for example, that it would make “an enhanced payment rate available to home health agencies to account for the costs to travel extended distances to render home health services to patients.” 

Applicants interested in participating in this program must include letters of commitment showing support for the proposed clinical and financial arrangements from partner organizations, including home health agencies, rural health clinics, nursing facilities, and state Medicaid agencies. CMS has indicated that applicants that omit these types of providers from their models “must document either that no such provider exists in the community or that the provision of the services of such provider type is adequate to meet current needs.”

Although this project will be deployed on a relatively small scale, it presents an exciting opportunity to get involved with CMMI’s ongoing efforts to develop and test new payment and delivery system models. Further, the results of this project will inform the ongoing policy dialogue on the value of home and community-based care settings.

Applications are due to CMMI by 5 pm on May 5, 2014. Please contact Richard D. Brennan, Jr., MA, NAHC’s Vice President of Technology Policy and Government Affairs, at for additional details.




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