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National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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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

Forthcoming July First Hospice and Home Health Deadlines Fast Approaching

June 24, 2014 10:45 AM

July 1, 2014 marks the effective date and deadline date for several Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) polices and initiatives for both home health and hospice providers. Following is a list of those requirements along with a brief description of each.


CMS released a change request (CR) related to hospice, CR 8569 Enforcement of the 5 Day Payment Limit for Respite Care, which, effective July 1, 2014, adds language to Section 30.3 of Chapter 9 of the Medicare Benefit Manual about the use of occurrence code M2 on claims when there is more than one respite period in a billing period and instructs MACs to return to providers any claims submitted with more than 5 consecutive days billed for respite care. CR8569 does not represent a policy change but does make clear that CMS will be enforcing the 5-day limit on respite billing.


Beginning July 1, 2014, Medicare-certified hospices must directly submit a Hospice Item Set (HIS)-Admission and HIS-Discharge record for each patient admission that occurs on or after July 1. Records must be submitted electronically. In recent weeks, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released numerous materials to assist hospices in their preparations for the coming requirement. Failure to collect and report HIS records for July 1 through Dec. 31, 2014, will result in a 2 percent reduction in hospice payments for fiscal year (FY) FY2016. 

For recent NAHC Report coverage, please click here.


On May 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed regulation: Medicare Program; FY 2015 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update; Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements and Process and Appeals for Part D Payment for Drugs for Beneficiaries Enrolled in Hospice. The proposed regulation includes the following:

  • Estimates of applicable FY2015 hospice payment rates;
  • Several hospice policy changes; and
  • Requests for comment on other policy changes that CMS could consider as part of future rulemaking.

CMS will accept comments until COB on July 1.

Previous NAHC Report coverage of the proposed rule is available: here, hereand here.


CMS is requiring MA plans to submit a HIPPS code for all home health claims beginning July 1. The requirement for MA plans to include a HIPPS code on home health claims had been delayed twice to allow for agencies and plans to make the necessary systems and operational  adjustments.  The MA plans are responsible for communicating this directive to their contracted providers. Agencies should be contacting the MA plans for further details and guidance.

Previous NAHC Report coverage is available hereand here


Effective July 1, 2014, HHAs are required to report the name and NPI of the physician who certifies/re-certifies the patient's eligibility (Certifying Physician). This is in addition to reporting the NPI and name of the physician who signs the patient's plan of care (Attending Physicians) when the attending physician is not the same physician who certified/re-certified the patient’s eligibility to receive services under the Medicare home health benefit.

Therefore, effective July 1, 2014, for episodes that begin on or after July 1, 2014, the certifying physician and the attending physician must be enrolled in the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) or have validly opted out as of the “from” date reported on the claim.

For the related transmittal and Medlearn Matters article go hereand here.


Effective July 1, 2014 CMS has the authority to impose additional alternate sanctions for home health agencies not in substantial compliance with the home health conditions of participation. Civil money penalties and suspension of payment for new admissions may be imposed, while an informal dispute resolution process will become available to agencies that wish to refute cited condition level deficiencies. Agencies have been subject to alternate sanctions that include temporary management of the HHA, directed plan of correction, and directed in-service training since July 1, 2013.

 To view CMS’ guidance on the alternate sanctions, please click here.




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