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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

Post-Acute Care Bundling Payment Bill Introduced in the House

May 29, 2014 10:04 AM

Representative David McKinley (R-WV) recently introduced H.R. 4673, the Bundling and Coordinating Post-Acute Care Act of 2014 (BACPAC) on behalf of himself and Rep. Price (R-GA). According to the legislation, the purpose of the bill is to:

  • Foster the delivery of high-quality post-acute care services in the most cost-effective manner possible;
  • Preserve the ability of patients, with the guidance of their physicians, to select their preferred providers of post-acute care services;
  • Promote competition among post-acute care providers on the basis of quality, cost, accountability, and customer service;
  • Achieve long-term sustainability by ensuring operational stability through regional breadth and the engagement of experienced care PAC coordinators;
  • Advance innovation in fields including telehealth, care coordination, medication management, and hospitalization avoidance; and
  • Provide for the financial security of the Medicare program by achieving substantial program savings through maximized efficiencies, cost avoidance, and outcomes improvement.

NAHC is still analyzing all of the bill’s provisions to assess its potential affect on the home care community.  NAHC is, however,  encouraged that the bill would waive the homebound requirement for home health services.

Rep. McKinley is a strong proponent of home health care.  He and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) initiated a bipartisan Congressional sign-on letter to CMS seeking relief from the Medicare home health payment rebasing rule.

McKinley introduced H.R. 4673 following last week’s Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on Medicare payment reforms. For more coverage from NAHC Report on that hearing, please click here.

During his introductory remarks at the hearing, Rep. McKinley stated that:

“This bill develops a model for post-acute care services that will increase efficiency, encourage more choice and personalize care for patients and offer significant savings to the program in the process...This bill could save as much as $85 - $100 billion…We are encouraging efficiency in services and programs that are more patient-centered.”  

NAHC offered its vision for post-acute care payments in the Statement for the Record that it submitted for the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing where this legislation was reviewed, stating that:

“It is important that bundling arrangements for PAC allow PAC providers to hold and administer the risk-adjusted PAC benefit, not the acute care provider.  The expertise related to managing patients in a post-acute setting lies with PAC providers, not hospitals, and the payment and accountability should be structured to reflect that.  We are encouraged that CMS is testing a post-acute care bundling program where all provider payments are managed by home health agencies. We believe this will ultimately deter unnecessary re-hospitalizations, thus reducing administrative burden and cost. This approach is comparable to the tried and tested Medicare hospice program where payment is bundled to a community-based hospice program where hospitalization is the exception rather than standard practice. 

Given the evidence regarding the importance of involving home health providers early in the care transitions process, the most effective bundling model would integrate home health providers into the hospital discharge planning process upon the admission of a qualified patient to the hospital. The home health agency would be responsible for a comprehensive evaluation and PAC planning process that is designed to determine whether a patient is medically appropriate and feasible for discharge to the community.

Where the home health agency, in close coordination with the hospital, determines that community based care is not appropriate immediately upon hospital discharge, the responsibility for discharge to a post-acute inpatient setting is returned to the hospital. At that point, a post-acute inpatient care bundling may be triggered, if available.

With this model, the home health agency is responsible for any community-based care related to the patient’s inpatient treatment including home health services, physician services, outpatient rehabilitation services, and any intervening stay in an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF), long term care hospital (LTCH), or skilled nursing facility (SNF). Post-acute inpatient stays immediately following hospital discharge are outside of the home health agency responsibility.

Benchmarks could be based on existing measurements of quality and patient outcomes in combination with cost avoidance outcomes that relate to re-hospitalizations and use of emergent care.

Under a post-acute community based care bundling approach, providers would receive a case mix related per capita payment that is calculated on the basis of the combination of services in the bundle, adjusted for performance in a positive or negative manner.

One key aspect of making a bundled payment work is ensuring the technological means to share information among providers.  Seamless care transitions depend on physicians, hospitals and home health agencies having access to patient information.   The home care community has been an integral partner within the Standards and Interoperability (S&I) Community-Led Initiatives, such as the Longitudinal Coordination of Care (LCC) workgroup, to develop standards for interoperable transitions of care and care plans additions to the Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (CCDA).  Our goal is to leverage the support of these important editions to the CCDA to encourage the adoption of electronic health records (EHR) and also to support the interoperable exchange of health information that is the foundation for building new models of care delivery in home care.”

For more on H.R. 4673, please click here.

To read NAHC’s full statement on Medicare payment reforms, please click here.

 

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