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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

National Council on Medicaid Home Care Sends Letter to State Medicaid Directors on the Potential Effects that the Employer Mandate May Have on Home Care Paid for by Medicaid

May 16, 2014 10:06 AM

NAHC’s affiliated National Council on Medicaid Home Care (The Council) recently sent a letter to all state Medicaid directors on the subject of the Affordable Care Act’s Employer Mandate and its effects on Medicaid. The Council’s Executive Director, William A. Dombi, sent the letter to all state Medicaid Directors to highlight, “a Medicaid impact of the Affordable Care Act that may have been overlooked, but is in need of quick and comprehensive action.”

According to the letter:

“The employer mandate under the ACA poses a serious threat to the future availability and quality of Medicaid home care services. A recently conducted survey of home care companies across the nation shows that well over three-quarters do not offer health insurance to their caregiver employees. As a result, these companies face a significant cost increase for compliant health insurance (approximately $2-3 an hour) or a $2,000 penalty for each full-time employee working 30 hours or more per week. Current Medicaid payment rates are insufficient to cover these added costs...      

Medicaid programs have increasingly rebalanced their spending on long-term services and supports towards home care and saved millions of dollars in doing so while enhancing the quality of life for Medicaid beneficiaries. To continue down this successful path, a remedy for the cost increases triggered by the ACA employer mandate must be found, and soon.

Home care companies have evaluated the option of reducing working hours such that few if any caregivers work more than the ACA full-time standard of 30 hours per week. That option is not realistic as it will lead to unmet needs, higher training, supervision, and recruitment costs, and risks to quality of care as part-time workers become the norm. Further, it will add complications for beneficiaries as multiple new caregivers replace a known single caregiver.”

The letter goes on to offer a call to action for Medicaid Directors:

“The best solution to these concerns at the moment is to extend “transitional relief” (a delay) for Medicaid home care employers. Delaying the ACA employer mandate until such time as state Medicaid programs have devised and implemented program changes to accommodate the mandate is necessary if care to the vulnerable people receiving Medicaid home care in your state is to continue.”

To read the full letter, please click here.

The letter to Medicaid directors is one part of a broad strategy that NAHC is employing to address the adverse effects of the ACA employer mandate. Earlier this year, NAHC joined other organizations advocated for a general delay in the mandate. The IRS recently delayed the mandate for certain employers and modified it for larger companies. In addition, NAHC supports legislation that redefines "full time employee" from the current 30 hour a week standard to 40 hours per week, reflecting the normal definition in business practice.

Additionally, NAHC has sought the establishment of a tax credit for individuals who purchase home care services thereby supporting home care clients who Ned help to cover the higher cost of care necessitated by providers raising charges to cover ACA costs.

Finally, NAHC continues to seek an exemption of home care employers from the mandate if there is no federal funding or tax relief that supports the new ACA costs.

To learn more about the National Council on Medicaid Home Care, please click here.




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