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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

Medicaid-Focused Educations Sessions from the March on Washington Speak to Medicaid’s Growing Role in Home Care and Hospice

March 26, 2014 07:37 AM

NAHC Vice President for Law Bill Dombi stated in this year’s opening General Session that, “Medicaid is the largest home care provider by far. It dwarfs Medicare and now spends about $60 billion a year on home care.” The increasing prominence of Medicaid in home care and hospice was reflected in the increase of Medicaid programs during this year’s March on Washington.

On March 24, the National Council on Medicaid Home Care - a NAHC affiliate - held an educational session for the March on Washington entitled “Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports: This is the Future!”  Michelle Martin, the Council’s Director of Policy, moderated.  The session featured the following speakers:

  • Sherl Brand, Chief External Affairs Officer & VP/Business Development, VNA Health Group
  • Christopher Palmieri, President VNS of New York
  • Michael Brown, BAYADA Home Health Care
  • Richard Fredrickson, Sr. VP, Long Term Care, Centene Corporation

Topics of discussion included: the overall transition of the long term services and supports (LTSS) population into managed care; the use of technology in managed LTSS; the importance of providers and plans communicating and educating each other; concerns regarding credentialing and claims submission; and discussion of what plans think determines “quality providers.”

While addressing concerns, all panelists stressed the importance of cooperation between plans and providers in transitioning to manage care.  “We believe in managed care for the LTSS population because we believe that it hits the goals of the Triple Aim: Access, Quality, and Lower Costs,” said Mr. Palmieri.  “With managed care, you can continue to have a relationship beneficial to consumers, providers, and plans.”

Mr. Fredrickson commented: “We see further penetration of managed care into the Medicaid space.  With that, we need providers and payers to come together more effectively on the part of the consumer.  This is especially relevant in the LTSS space, because of the complex needs of the consumers and their co-morbid conditions in particular.”

Mr. Brown agreed.  “This session is uniquely important,” he stated.  “It allows providers and plans to join together in the best interest for clients in this important transition.”

Mrs. Brand stated: “If we’re going to see successful rollouts of MLTSS, there has to be communication and collaborations between providers, plans and their states.  Otherwise, all parties will encounter obstacle after obstacle.”

In another Medicaid-focused session held on March 24, a panel of experts addressed attendees during an educational session entitled,  “The Future of Medicaid: CMS Panel of Experts.” The panel consisted of the followg experts:

  • Edo Banach, Senior Advisor, Acting Director, Models Demonstrations and Analysis Group, Medicare Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Dianne Kayala, Technical Director, Disabled and Elderly Health Program Group, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Ralph Lollar, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group, Center for Medicaid, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Mr. Banach spoke first, talking about the status of the demonstrations that MMCO was currently implementing, including the Financial Alignment Initiative for the dual eligible population, as well as another demonstration to reduce preventable inpatient hospitalizations among residents of nursing facilities. 

Ms. Kayala then spoke extensively about the extent of implementation of managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) nationwide. 

Mr. Lollar then talked about the state of rebalancing away from nursing homes and towards home and community-based care.  He gave a quick status report on the Balanced Incentive Payments (BIP) and Money Follows the Person (MFP) programs, and then a synopsis of the new Home and Community-based services (HCBS) rule. 

For a previous Council brief on the rule, click here.

Ms. Kayala then gave a brief presentation on recent program integrity findings in home care, as reported by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  She stated that noncompliance ran the gamut and ranged from billing for services not rendered to not providing adequate documentation for services billed.




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