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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

NAHC Discusses MA Plan and Home Health Certification Requirements with CMS Officials

May 16, 2014 10:08 AM

In the final call letter for the 2015 rates for the Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, CMS “clarified” that the MA plans were to apply the same certification requirements as fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare to plan members who receive home health services. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has serious concerns with this directive.

Last week, NAHC discussed those concerns with officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) and questioned the rationale behind the requirement. NAHC expressed that the MA plans have a preauthorization process that negates the need to follow Medicare FFS certification requirements. In addition, NAHC interprets the regulation to require that the MA plans offer the same scope of benefits to its members as Medicare, but does not require that the plans apply the same certification criteria as Medicare.  

If the MA plans are required to follow the same certification requirements for home health services as FFS Medicare, our concern is that failure to meet the certification requirements will be used as a pretext to deny and /or not authorize needed home health services for plan members.  It also raises questions regarding whether MA plans will be required to follow other coverage and payment criteria that apply to FFS Medicare.

CMS agreed to take another look at this directive to the MA plans. In the meantime NAHC sent the following questions to CMS for further clarification.

  • The home health certification requirement is not an element of the scope of home health benefits under traditional Medicare. Instead, it is a program integrity and accountability requirement as a condition for fee-for-services payment. Does 42 CFR 422.100 and 422.101 actually require such conditions for fee-for-service payments be imposed in Medicare Advantage as well?
  • If the plans are required to apply the certification requirements of 424.22, are the MA plans be permitted to retroactively deny claims for home health services if all the certification requirements were not met according to §424.22 in light of the conflicting CMS policy statements on the matter and the fact that the requirement applies to the physicians rather than the home health agencies?
  • Will MA plans now, and in the future, be permitted to deny or not authorize home health services if all the certification requirements at §424.22 are not met?
  • Will CMS require that the MA plans hold the certifying physician accountable for failing to meet all the certification requirements?
  • If CMS intends for the MA plans to comply with the same Medicare FFS certification requirements for home health services, does this extend to requiring compliance with all Medicare FFS rules, including the provision of a 60-day episodic benefit that bundles care management, services, and medical supplies as a responsibility of the home health agency? 



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