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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 Reports on Most Recent MACPAC Public Meeting on Long-Term Services and Supports

March 18, 2014 03:49 PM

The National Council on Medicaid Home Care – a NAHC affiliate – policy director Michelle Martin recently attended the latest public meeting of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission (“MACPAC”). The Commissioners heard a panel on assessments in long-term services and supports (“LTSS”) titled “Assessment of Need for Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports.” The panel was introduced by MACPAC Senior Analyst Angela Lello and included three presenters:

  • Lisa Alecxih, Senior Vice President, The Lewin Group
  • Charles Moseley, Associate Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services
  • Jennifer Mathis, Deputy Legal Director and Director of Programs, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

The goal of the panel was to highlight the role that functional assessments play in service planning, and eligibility determinations, and how assessments are used to identify individuals with LTSS needs. The chapter on LTSS that will be included in MACPAC’s June 2014 report to Congress is intended to be only foundational, instead of including recommendations for Congress.  However, the MACPAC staff offered the panel regardless so that Commissioners would have a greater understanding of the role Medicaid plays in providing LTSS.

The presentations centered on the value of developing a uniform assessment tool to be used in all states; the panelists took opposing positions on the value of such a tool. Lisa Alecxih offered support of a standardized assessment, perhaps with various portals to create a more refined outcome based on a person’s disability. The point of a standardized assessment would be, ideally, to have all individuals measured for services in the same way and allow for the same outcome in any setting or state.

For example, if a person receiving LTSS moved from Florida to Iowa, the standardized assessment tool would allow that person to receive the same type and level of service in each state because the assessment would reveal the same needs in both locations. Charles Moseley and Jennifer Mathis, on the other hand, supported a person-centered approach to assessments, asserting that a universal assessment would cause individuals to go through unnecessary questioning while a person centered assessment would be specific to a person’s need level. The example offered was that a universal assessment could first ask “Do you need help going to the toilet?” an unnecessary question to an adult seeking services allowing him to continue working.

The Commissioners spent about 30 minutes asking questions of the panel, clearly wanting to have a greater understanding of the pros and cons of the different assessment ideas offered. The Commissioners favored using the assessments together to create a functional assessment that is both person-centered and has universal applicability. By the end of the question and answer period, it was clear that the Commissioners are interested in learning more both about the assessment process and LTSS as a whole.

At the end of the scheduled panels, a time for public comment was offered. Ms. Martin took that opportunity to introduce the Council to the commissioners and thanked the Commission for including LTSS on their agenda.  Ms. Martin offered the Council as a resource and encouraged the Commission to continue to explore LTSS, beyond the assessment issue. The Chair of the Commission, Diane Rowland, agreed that LTSS is a very important issue that is deserving of the Commission’s attention and one that they will continue to focus on in future reports to Congress. Following the meeting, Ms. Martin spoke with several commissioners.  They thanked her for her comments and asked her to continue sharing her thoughts on LTSS when it was discussed during public comments.

Ms. Martin assured the commissioners that she would continue to attend MACPAC meetings and that the Council would always be available as a resource to MACPAC staff.




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