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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

Home Care Medicaid Fraud Developments in Texas, North Carolina, and Kansas

May 9, 2014 12:28 PM

The National Council on Medicaid Home Care – a NAHC affiliate - reports on recent developments in home care Medicaid fraud and abuse, including: 1) alleged owner and advocate personal care services fraud in Texas; 2) alleged owner/operator fraud in North Carolina; and 3) alleged personal care services caregiver fraud in Kansas. 


As reported by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas, on April 25, Jeffrey Parsons and David Edson were charged in 13 counts for conspiracy to pay kickbacks to personal care home owners and patient advocates.  Both worked for Continuum Healthcare LLC (Continuum) ”Parsons was the vice president of operations, while Edson was the vice president of development.  According to the indictment, Continuum owned and operated three Houston area community mental health centers.

Parsons and Edson allegedly billed Medicaid for mental health services that were either unnecessary or not rendered.  Additionally, Parsons and Edson gave kickbacks to several personal care homeowners and patient advocates in return for Medicare referrals.  In addition to Parsons and Edson, the indictment charged six personal care homeowners and two patient advocates.

The indictment alleges that Continuum billed Medicare and Medicaid nearly $70 million as a product of the kickbacks.  Of that amount, approximately $3.4 million was billed to Medicaid. 

All defendants face charges of conspiracy to solicit or receive kickbacks in connection with a federal benefit program from March 2005 through April 2012.  Parsons and Edson are additionally charged with money laundering for engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property greater than $10,000, and payment and receipt of healthcare kickbacks.  The conspiracy and kickback charges each carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, while the money laundering charge carries a maximum ten year penalty.  Additionally, a maximum $250,000 fine could be brought with the convictions. The trial is currently set for June 9.

To see the press release, click here.  To see the indictment, click here.

North Carolina

As reported by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of North Carolina, on April 10, Claude Arthur Verbal II pled guilty to healthcare fraud and money laundering from July 2009 through July 2012.  Verbal was the owner and operator of Infinite Wellness Concepts (IWC), a behavioral health provider in North Carolina reimbursed by Medicaid.  Verbal had defrauded Medicaid of at least $1 million. He also pled guilty to tax fraud associated with falsifying tax returns while the owner and operator of a tax return preparation company.

Verbal’s fraudulent schemes included: 1) upcoding; 2) falsifying the number of patients treated in group therapy sessions; 3) billing for services not rendered; 4) forging treatment notes and therapist signatures on these notes; 5) having unqualified personnel administering therapy; and 6) falsifying clinical assessments and having unqualified providers create and sign clinical assessments.

Verbal used the defrauded funds to pay for personal purchases including homes, luxury cars, and jewelry, the latter including a $52,000 diamond ring.  Authorities seized almost $770,000 from Verbal’s bank accounts, as well as a 2011 Toyota Camry and four pieces of diamond jewelry.

On April 9, Verbal pled guilty to one count of healthcare fraud, one count of money laundering, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and one count of aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns.  Verbal faces a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison and $850,000 in fines.  He will also pay restitution to Medicaid and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

To see the press release, click here. To see the April indictment, the state’s factual basis document, and the plea agreement, click herehere, and here.


As reported by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas, on April 9, Doris Betts was indicted for allegedly receiving over $587,000 in fraudulent Medicaid bills when working as a personal care attendant from approximately January 2008 through December 2013. She was charged with six counts of health care fraud for fraudulently billing for services for seven Medicaid beneficiaries through four separate billing agencies.  These services included day support, residential support, personal services, and sleep cycle support.  For full definitions of these services, see pages 4-6 of the indictment, here.

Specifically, Betts allegedly: 1) billed for services rendered to two or more beneficiaries at the same time; 2) billed for services while the supposed beneficiary was in the hospital; 3) billed for services during her own medical appointments; and 4) billed for back-to-back services provided at different locations without accounting for travel time.  She also allegedly billed for work days exceeding 24-hours on over 750 occasions.  For more than 120 of those days, she allegedly billed for over 30 hours.

Ms. Betts faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  The date for her trial is currently set for June 17.

To see the press release, click here.


While consumer-directed care programs provide an important level of control to the client, they also run a higher risk of fraud, particularly where the caregivers are from the client’s family. Agency directed home care fraud, while less common, also takes place. These risks may provide home care agencies with an opportunity to supply some program integrity oversight along with caregiver training and supervision. At the same time, agencies should guard against Medicaid programs promulgating new regulatory measures that affect agency-model and consumer directed care equally.

Home care companies doing business with Medicaid would be well served if they redouble their internal program integrity efforts. Home care companies should use service attendance and documentation systems that provide reliable ways to validate any self-submitted information. Further, agencies should engage in at least spot checks with recipients to ensure actual delivery of care and continued eligibility for services. In many circumstances, Medicaid will attempt to recover any fraudulent payments from the agency even if the agency is not implicated in the fraud. In addition, the fraud of an employee can create a risk that the employer is also charged with fraud. 

Increasing regulation and legislation is a typical reaction to health care fraud, as regulators believe that they can solve all problems through another layer of rules. To the extent that there is a need for reforms, it is important to craft sound legislation that protects patients while putting the fewest restrictions on honest caregivers.  Stakeholders should actively engage in the process of regulatory and legislative reform through the forums or state advocacy.  Home care companies are encouraged to keep abreast of program integrity initiatives in their states, and to contact the Council with any questions or concerns.





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