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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

New QIO Cycle Provides Opportunities for Home Health Agencies

April 14, 2014 10:17 AM

On August 1, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program will begin new improvement initiatives under its' 11th Statement of Work (SOW) for the next QIO contract cycle. Although, the 11th SOW has a strong focus on nursing homes and physician practices, it also includes opportunities for home health agencies.

Under one of the program aims: Healthy People, Healthy Communities: Improving the Health Status of Communities, the QIO program will be tasked with improving cardiac health and reducing cardiac healthcare disparities. Part of that task will include recruiting home health agencies to participate.

Recruitment will consist of non-profit and for-profit HHAs with a focus on those providers who manage patients with the greatest cardiovascular health needs and those most challenged to succeed in implementing evidence-based practices to improve cardiovascular health and support the Million Hearts® initiative.

In September 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Secretary launched the Million Hearts® initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by the year 2017. The initiative focuses on improving the ABCS: Aspirin therapy when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking screening and cessation. The Home Health Quality Improvement  (HHQI) National Campaign has been supporting HHS’ Million Hearts®initiative by introducing cardiovascular best practices and other education resources to the home health community.

The QIO program will also provide technical assistance to HHAs as follows:

  • Utilize the Best Practice Intervention Packages (BPIPs) developed through the HHQI National Campaign to prevent heart attacks and strokes for beneficiaries receiving services from home health agencies.
  • Work with the HHA to sign up for the Cardiovascular Data Registry developed through the HHQI National Campaign in order to track progress related to the ABCS.
  • Include at least, but is not limited to, the following tasks:
    • Utilization of health literacy and educational tools for HHAs to provide beneficiary education including successful interventions and literature appropriate for all racial and ethnic beneficiaries served by the agency.
    • Ensuring that home health agencies are invited to and participate in the cardiac LAN activities, any forum and/or LISTSERV or other mechanism by which the home health agencies may collaborate with and share success stories, strategies, successful interventions, and activities with others to improve the ABCS for home health patients. 
    • Provide more intensive one-on-one technical assistance for HHAs on processes and procedures that be beneficial, including training HHAs on the use of Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign successful interventions, tools, health information technology and interoperable key clinical information and other resources focused on the ABCS.
    • Provide technical assistance to HHAs experiencing staffing shortages and those with limited technological infrastructure unable to download educational resources and literature. This technical assistance shall consider the costs associated with downloading and printing resources for HHAs where this may be a financial burden.

In addition, another aim: Better Healthcare for Communities: Beneficiary-Centered, Reliable, Accessible, and Safe Care, intends for the QIO program to promote effective communication and coordination of care though the development of community coalitions that will be required to engage a number of community stakeholders including home health agencies.

To view the QIO’s 11th SOW, please click here.




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