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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

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

Governor Susana Martinez Calls on Federal Government to Pass Legislation Allowing Nursing Professionals to Certify Home Health Care and Hospice Services

Says Federal Action is Required to Help Meet Increasing Demand for Primary Care; New Mexico Association for Home and Hospice Care Executive Director Joie Glenn Offers Support
May 9, 2014 02:07 PM

Governor Susana Martinez (D-NM) has called on the federal government to allow nursing professionals to certify home health care and hospice services for Medicare beneficiaries. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Governor Martinez called on the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that allows nurse practitioners to certify and make changes to home health plans of care to make these services eligible for Medicare reimbursement.

National Nurses Week runs from Tuesday May 6 to Monday May 12.

“Nursing professionals are critical to meeting increasing demand for health care services,” said Governor Martinez. “To help meet these needs, the federal government must empower nurse practitioners to take a leadership role in home health and hospice care, in particular. These changes are important to ensuring that our families and communities have access to the high-quality health care they need and deserve, particularly in rural and underserved areas.”

The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2013, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) as H.R. 2504 and in the U.S. Senate by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) as S. 1332, seeks to amend the Social Security Act to allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives to certify and make changes to home health plans of care.

“We applaud Governor Martinez’s continuing support of New Mexico’s patients and providers,” said New Mexico Association for Home and Hospice Care Executive Director Joie Glenn. “This legislation is so important to our home care and hospice patients, particularly in rural and underserved areas where often times there aren’t physicians available to certify and make changes to plans of care. Our nursing professionals are highly trained and skilled, and this legislation will allow them to help provide better care to patients.”

In her letter to Secretary Sebelius, Governor Martinez stated that:

“A report recently produced by the National Governor’s Association (NGA), The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Meeting Increased Demand for Primary Care, supports an increased use of nurse practitioners to address the serious challenges states face in meeting this increased demand for services. Additionally, a seminal report published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in October 2010, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommends that nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists be allowed to certify a patient for home health services.

Barriers remain, however, that prevent nurse practitioners from extending care to a particular and important part of the population – those in need of home health care and hospice services. This particular barrier can only be addressed at the federal level.

As far back as 1997, the federal government authorized payment for nurse practitioners for Medicare patients. However the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to prohibit nurse practitioners from certifying home health and hospice services to Medicare beneficiaries. According to CMS, the Medicare statute requires “physician” certification on a home health plan of care. Patients who are unable to receive home health and hospice services are at grave risk of deteriorating conditions and resulting admission to higher levels of care, such as hospitalization at a far greater cost to the Medicare program. Access to hospice services is likewise hindered; CMS allows nurse practitioners to function as a patient’s hospice attending physician, but they may not certify a patient’s terminal illness.”

To read the governor’s full letter to Secretary Sebelius, please click here.




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