Skip to Main Content
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
Twitter Facebook Pintrest


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, Other Advocacy Organizations Urge Halt to CMS Part D/Hospice Prior Authorization Guidance

June 13, 2014 12:00 PM

Expressing concern about the placement of undue burden on hospice patients due to CMS’ Part D/ hospice prior authorization guidance, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) joined with 26 other advocacy organizations in sending a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner urging that she put a, “halt to [CMS’ March 10 Guidance -- Part D Payment for Drugs for Beneficiaries Enrolled in Hospice—Final 2014 Guidance] until a workable alternative is developed that does not place the burden of resolving payment disputes squarely on the shoulders of terminally ill Medicare beneficiaries.” 

The letter to Administrator Tavenner is the latest effort in recent months by NAHC and others to bring attention to the many problems arising out of CMS’ requirement that Part D plans implement a beneficiary-level prior authorization requirement on drugs prescribed for hospice-enrolled beneficiaries.

The letter’s signatories were:

  • AARP
  • AFT Retirees
  • Alliance for Aging Research
  • Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA)
  • AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM)
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • American Geriatrics Society
  • American Health Care Association (AHCA)
  • American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP)
  • B’nai B’rith
  • Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.
  • Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA)
  • Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA)
  • International Association for Indigenous Aging – IA2
  • Medicare Rights Center
  • National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC)
  • National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers
  • National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs
  • National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD)
  • National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM)
  • National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
  • National Council on Aging (NCOA)
  • National Hospice and Palliative Care Association (NHPCO)
  • National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC)
  • OWL – The Voice of Women 40+
  • Visiting Nurse Associations of America

An article appearing in the June 11 NAHC Report provided members with an update on Part D hospice recovery requests.

The letter signed by the 26 organizations is just the latest advocacy effort on this issue. NAHC, along with fellow signatories the Center for Medicare Advocacy, the Medicare Rights Center, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) last month met with a member of the White House Domestic Policy Staff to discuss continuing problems related to CMS’ requirement that Part D plans impose a beneficiary-level prior authorization (PA) for drugs prescribed for hospice patients.

For more on the White House meeting, please see NAHC Report, May 16, 2014.

During that meeting, advocates argued that imposition of a PA process at the beneficiary level for terminally ill patients is particularly inappropriate as any PA process slows access to medications and creates difficulties that dying patients and their loved ones should not be subject to.

The group urged withdrawal of the PA requirement, citing countless problems, among them: failure of Part D plans to follow the PA guidance issued by CMS; widespread refusal by Part D plans to enter into advance discussions with hospices to establish responsibility for drug coverage so that rejection of coverage could be avoided when the patient goes to the pharmacy to fill prescriptions; refusal of Part D plans to accept direct information from hospices on patient status - resulting in patients no longer on  hospice being refused all Part D drug coverage; and misunderstanding of the PA process at the pharmacy level that results in the provision of misinformation to the patient.

Stakeholders also described the additional complexities and challenges related to failure of the prescribed PA process for patients in nursing facilities to White House staff during the meeting.

The PA process was required by CMS guidance to Part D plans that was implemented on May 1. For more on CMS Guidance and Part D, please see NAHC Report, May 14, 2014

NAHC anticipates additional activity in this area in the near future and will keep members apprised of further developments via NAHC Report and the NAHC member listservs.




©  National Association for Home Care & Hospice. All Rights Reserved.