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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

What ONC’s 2015 EHR Guidelines Mean for Home Health and Hospice Providers

June 20, 2014 10:29 AM

ONC’s most recent request for comments (RFC) on the subject of their 2015 electronic medical records (EHR) guidelines has led to some confusion within the provider community – including home health and hospice providers. NAHC’s affiliated Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA) recently submitted public comments that are specific to the sections of the 2015 rule that were identified as priorities for the home care and hospice community. It is important to reiterate that there is no mandated HER requirement for home health or hospice providers in the proposed 2015 HER rule, which is voluntary.

The proposed 2015 voluntary EHR Certification Program includes a section on a proposal for a non-Meaningful Use EHR Certification program for Long-Term Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) providers. This provision serves as a bridge to support an ONC Certification program for home care and hospice EHR products that would be fully electronic except when a provider gives  a patient a hard copy of their summary care record.

HCTAA has also been engaging with the ONC’s Health IT Policy Committee (HITPC) on the development of a voluntary EHR certification program for LTPAC. HCTAA’s comments and recommendations are reflected in both the 2015 comments and also in comments provided to the HITPC Adoption and Certification Work Group in December of 2013.

In HCTAA’s comments on the Summary Care Record, the organization outlines that the CCDA clinical architecture would serve as the means for transferring health care data upon transition of care and be supported by EHR-to-EHR interoperability. In practice, this would mean that each provider would have their own EHR system but could accept information from other systems e.g. interoperability.

With respect to requiring patients to access their records on-line, HCTAA did not support a Patient Engagement Package proposed by ONC, but decided to focus on the need for the exchange of health information between hospitals, physicians, home health agencies and hospices. 

Most likely, if HCTAA’s EHR program is supported by the CCDA, then third party vendors, such as the Microsoft Health Vault, could accept information from the EHR if that system was to match those data fields using the CCDA. 

Currently, summary care records that are sent via the DIRECT standard are PDF are acceptable to ONC for Stage 2 Meaningful Use.  HCTAA would prefer ONC move to a field-to-field match where data could be sent, received, and also made reusable by the home health agency for the purpose of completing the patient assessment. That functionality, however, will not be supported until Stage 3 of Meaningful Use, and those stages have been sliding back.

HCTAA suggests that if the member in not an Eligible Professional (EP) or Eligible Hospital (EH) that is receiving incentives through the Meaningful Use Incentive Program then they shouldn’t be concerned with a mandate since it doesn’t apply to them. 

HCTAA has been adamant that it does not support an unfunded mandate, and that HCTAA is still seeking incentives for the adoption of EHRs by home health agencies and hospice providers.  HCTAA will continue to work with and engage with the federal government to create common sense approaches to encourage the sharing of electronic health information.  HCTAA encourages home care and hospice providers to adopt EHR technologies

There is a lot of information provided in HCTAA’s comments, which will help to explain NAHC/HCTAA’s position on HER policy.

To read HCTAA’s April 2014 comments, please click here.

To read HTCAA’s December 2013 comments, please click here.




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