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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

National Council on Medicaid Home Care Analyzes Medicaid Provisions in President’s 2015 Budget

March 7, 2014 02:59 PM

On March 4, President Obama released his budget proposal for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for Fiscal Year 2015.  The National Council on Medicaid Home Care – a NAHC affiliate - reports on the budget’s implications for Medicaid home care.

Overall Medicaid budget. Overall, outlays in Medicaid were expected to rise from $2.7 billion in 2013 to $3.1 billion in 2014 to $3.4 billion in 2015.  The budget also includes a total of $7.3 billion in total savings to the Medicaid program. For details, see pages 14 and 55, here.

Program integrity. Under the President’s budget proposal, FY 2015 Medicaid program integrity expenditures will total $522 million, of which $423 million is the federal share.  To see the breakdown of these costs, see page 72, here. To see total investments and savings in the Medicaid Integrity Program from 2014 through 2024, see page 70, here.  Program integrity legislative proposals would altogether amount to $620 savings over 10 years.  See page 81, here.

MFCU mandate extended into home based care. The budget proposal gives Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) the option to get federal matching funds to investigate and prosecute home care abuse and neglect.  This provision thus increases the prosecutorial power of the MFCUs into home care, as it had traditionally been more institution-focused.  This provision is estimated to have no budgetary impact.  For details, see page 73, here.

Medicaid Legislative Proposals

The President’s 2015 budget also highlights several Medicaid legislative proposals, including:

Provide HCBS to children eligible for psychiatric residential treatment facilities.  This proposal allows states to expand to non-institutional options for children’s mental health care.  This would encourage rebalancing of this population that is currently institutionalized or otherwise meet the institutional level of care.  Otherwise, this population would only be able to receive care in an institution.  This provision is inspired by the Community Alternatives to Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities Demonstration Grant Program that saw savings of approximately $40,000 per year per participant.  This provision is estimated to cost $1.9 billion over 10 years.  For details, see page 80, here.  

Dual eligible provisions.  These proposals include integrating the appeals process for duals (no budgetary impact), and a pilot to expand the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) to those aged 21 through 55 (no budgetary impact).  PACE is a rebalancing program that provides community based LTSS to duals via an interdisciplinary team.  For details, see pages 81-82, here

Expand Money Follows the Person.  This proposal would extend this rebalancing demonstration program through FY 2020.  Currently, eligibility for Money Follows the Person (MFP) is based on institutionalization.  This proposal would allow these funds to prevent people from being institutionalized at all in some instances, reduce the existing institutional requirement to 60 days (from 90 days), and also allow skilled nursing facility stays to count toward this requirement.  The proposal would also allow for transitions to HCBS to those in certain mental health facilities.  For details, see page 91, here

Administration for Community Living

The budget proposal allocates $1.2 billion to the Administration for Community Living to assist seniors in independent and community living.  This includes $815 million in nutrition services.  In addition to the $1.2 billion, the budget proposal also includes $348 million for home and community based services for seniors.  For details, see page 121, here.  


The Council supports continued efforts at rebalancing, as evidenced in this budget proposal, including proposals to expand PACE, MFP, and to provide HCBS to children eligible for psychiatric residential treatment facilities.  The Council also supports reasonable program integrity measures, and advises home care companies to strengthen their compliance efforts in light of this budget proposal’s financial incentives for MFCU investigations and prosecutions into home care.

Stakeholders should actively engage in the process of regulatory and legislative reform through the forums for state advocacy. Home care companies are encouraged to keep abreast of developments, and to contact the Council with any questions or concerns.

For more analysis on the President’s Budget from NAHC, please see NAHC Report, March 5, 2014 and NAHC Report March 7, 2014.




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