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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

NAHC Calls for Greater Frequency of Hospice Surveysnce

June 30, 2014 09:30 AM

Peter Whoriskey’s article (“Infrequent inspections of hospices can lead to agonizing lapses in care,” Washington Post, June 27) brings needed attention to a vital problem that the hospice industry has sought to correct for many years: the infrequency of government reviews (or surveys) to ensure that providers meet stringent patient quality-of-care requirements. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and its affiliate Hospice Association of America (HAA)have consistently argued for a statutorily set frequency for hospice surveys (as is the case for home health and other Medicare providers). The two organizations call on Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to address this pressing need.

Action on this issue is now particularly critical for several reasons. In 2008, CMS made major changes to the Conditions of Participation under which hospices are surveyed. Yet many hospices — six full years later — have not been reviewed by government surveyors to ensure they are meeting the 2008 requirements. In addition, the hospice industry is undergoing rapid change and being subjected to increasing regulatory requirements, circumstances that make it all the more important for hospices to ensure that they maintain a continuing commitment to minimum care standards.

“The good news is we do know that the vast majority of hospice providers are making every effort to ensure that patient and family needs are being met,” stated NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris, “Under the 2008 Conditions of Participation, hospices must maintain a program that measures the quality of care that they provide. Many hospices, as part of their quality programs, also conduct patient and family satisfaction surveys, among the most effective measures of how well hospices are doing their jobs.”

California-based Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP), a national hospice benchmarking firm, provides feedback to hospice providers of all types and sizes on an extensive survey questionnaire that’s been designed to determine how well patient and family needs are being met. According to SHP’s aggregate data, the average rating of hospices based on survey findings in key areas are as follow:

  • Attendance to family needs: 94%
  • Provision of information about symptoms: 93%
  • Provision of coordinated care: 93%
  • Provided the right amount of assistance with the patient’s breathing: 94%
  • Treated the patient with respect: 97%
  • Received the proper amount of instruction for the care that family member was providing directly to patient: 96%
  • Provided the right amount of emotional support to family member: 94%
  • Hospice doctors or nurses knew enough about patient’s medical history to provide the best possible care: 95%
  • Overall ranking of patient care as Excellent or Very Good: 92%

As with all health care providers, there are concerns about hospice that must be addressed. Still we believe that more frequent assessment of hospice providers’ success in meeting quality requirements and CMS’s development in recent years of an increasingly robust quality reporting program, will go a long way toward addressing many of the concerns that Mr. Whoriskey has raised.




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