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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

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

Hospice QRP Data Deadline: 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1, 2014; Gearing up for HIS and HIS-related Clarifications from CMS

April 1, 2014 09:42 AM

As part of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) set a hard deadline of 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2014, for reporting of data that will impact Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 payments.   As presented by CMS during the March 5, 2014 Home Health, Hospice & Durable Medical Equipment Open Door Forum (ODF), the FY 2015 Reporting Cycle consists of reporting on two measures: the structural measure and the National Quality Forum (NQF) #0209 pain measure collected during Calendar Year 2013.The Technical User’s Guide, posted on the Data Submission web page is the primary reference for the HQRP Data Entry and Submission Site for the FY 2015 Reporting Cycle. Please also refer to this User Guide for information on data collection and how providers will aggregate the NQF #0209 data.

Onward to HIS/CMS Provides Clarification

While hospice providers stopped collection of data related to NQF #0209 and the structural measure for the HQRP on Jan. 1, 2014, they should be gearing up for collection of data related to the Hospice Item Set (HIS); beginning July 1, 2014, Medicare-certified hospices must submit a HIS-Admission and HIS-Discharge record for each patient admission occurring on or after July 1.   A recording of the HIS training, originally presented on Feb. 4 and 5, is now available here.

This training covers HIS data collection processes including item-specific instructions for each item in the HIS, along with tips and examples for HIS items.  The HIS Training follows closely along with the HIS Manual and covers these HIS Training Slides. The Manual is an essential tool in understanding how to complete the HIS; it is recommended that you review the Manual prior to viewing the training. Please also remember that the HIS Technical Training covering technical submission processes and data submission software will be provided online in May.  Additional information about that training will be announced at a later date.

In late March CMS posted a fact sheet containing guidance on updating the HIS Admission Record care process items in Sections F, J, and N; as part of the fact sheet CMS clarifies that hospices are not REQUIRED [emphasis added] to update care process items on the HIS Admission Record.  CMS provides this clarification as it has been pointed out that a patient may not have a prescribed opioid during initial days on hospice care but may have one prescribed subsequent to the deadline for submission of the HIS-Admission and hospices have sought guidance as to whether they should revise the HIS-Admission to reflect the change in care.




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