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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

Cost Report Information: Tips to Ensure Acceptance

June 18, 2014 10:36 AM

Hospices that have recently completed a cost reporting year are in the throes of preparing their cost reports; these hospices will be using the current hospice cost reporting instructions. New cost reporting instructions could be issued at any time, though, and are anticipated to be applicable for cost reporting years beginning as early as October 1, 2014. The pending future cost report instructions will contain significant changes that will, eventually, impact all hospices. 

NAHC’s Home Care & Hospice Financial Manager’s Association (HHFMA) has developed a uniform chart of accounts that coordinates with the forthcoming changes, and has undergone CMS review to ensure consistency. If hospices have not already done so, they are strongly encouraged to begin using the uniform chart of accounts now so they will have the correct data to submit for future cost reporting periods. When the pending cost report changes become applicable, CMS will also institute additional edits that will assist providers and help to ensure greater accuracy and consistency in cost reporting.

Approximately 10 percent of all home health agency (HHA) and hospice cost report filings are rejected and returned to providers for failing to meet one (or more) of the seven acceptability criteria mandated by CMS. If a cost report requires rejection, the entire cost report package is returned to the provider as though a cost report has never been filed. The following issues and tips are presented to help you ensure your cost report is properly filed and accepted without issue or to minimize impacts resulting from a cost report rejection.

Issue:

Providers that have their cost reports rejected that were received on or after the due date also have the unfortunate circumstance of having their payments suspended immediately. Payments cannot be restored until a corrected cost report has been re-filed. The payment restoration process may take 3 to 5 business days after receipt of a re-filed cost report.

Tip:

File the cost report early. A grace period is granted by CMS for cost reports filed early that must be rejected. The grace period is established by CMS and is equal to the number of days the cost report was received before the due date. Therefore, the earlier the cost report is received the longer a provider has to resolve any rejection issues before its payments are suspended. Please note that the grace period does not include an allocation of days for mailing to and from the provider.

Issue: 
Electronic filing requirements have been in place for more than two decades. However, many cost reports continue to be rejected for having electronically submitted electronic cost report (ECR) and Print Imagine (PI) encryption codes that do not match the codes that are printed on the certification page of the cost report (Worksheet S), have electronic files that cannot be read/copied, or have no electronic files submitted on the Diskette/CD.

Tip:

After saving the files to a Diskette/CD, insert the Diskette/CD in another computer and attempt to copy the two electronic files to that computer, read the electronic files that were copied, and ensure both the ECR and PI encryption codes displayed match exactly the encryption codes printed on the Worksheet S. Taking these steps would eliminate close to half of all cost report rejections. Also, some MACs prefer submission of the cost report via CD or flash drive. The use of diskettes has proven to be unreliable, as they are more susceptible to damage, corruption or formatting issues, resulting in unreadable or missing files.

Issue: 
The administrator or an officer of the facility must sign the cost report and certify the accuracy of the cost report. Although some provider types now have the Form CMS 339 Questionnaire incorporated in their cost reporting form, home health agencies and hospice providers are still required to file a separate Form CMS 339. As with the cost report, the form must be signed by the administrator or officer of the facility.

Tip: 
Originals signatures are required; electronic signatures or photocopies (or facsimiles) are not permitted. Some MACs recommend the officer or administrator of the provider sign the certification page of the cost report (Worksheet S) that contains the ECR and PI encryption codes using blue ink. The Cost Report Questionnaire (CMS-339) certification page should also be signed in blue ink to clearly indicate that the signature is original.

Issue:
The cost report submission includes an incorrect settlement summary. In many instances, if the HHA cost report is filed with an underpayment or overpayment on the settlement summary the provider payments have been incorrectly reported on Worksheet D and/or Worksheet D-1.

Tip:

Unless the HHA is claiming cost reimbursable services (i.e., flu vaccine costs) on Worksheet D, Part II, Line 12 (or other rarely used Worksheet D, Part II lines such as 19, 22, 23, and 25.50) the settlement summary on Worksheet S should be $0 for both Part A and Part B. Small dollar amounts indicate rounding errors when reporting payments from the PS&R report. Larger amounts indicate that the PPS Payment amounts reported on Worksheet D, Part II likely contain posting errors or missing PPS Payment amounts. We recommend a review of the PPS payments posted on Worksheet D in these instances. Please note that if the cost report is submitted with an overpayment indicated on the settlement summary, the overpayment is subject to collection by Palmetto GBA. Once the cost report has been filed, the overpayment cannot be corrected until the cost report has been final settled via Notice of Program Reimbursement (NPR). Filing a second corrected cost report will not cease the overpayment collection process.

 

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