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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

Heath 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

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

Michigan Audit Uncovers $160 Million in Improper Home Care Payments

July 10, 2014 03:37 PM

A state audit released this month found that Michigan improperly spent over 18 percent of total federal and state expenditures on the state’s Medicaid Home Help Program - $160 million out of $894 million in total expenditures from October 2010 through August 2013. Michigan may be required to pay almost $97 million back to the federal government.

Improper payments included:

  • $6.8 million in overpayments to 80 agencies that did not provide adequate documentation to secure higher fees compared to individual aides;
  • $2.6 million in payments for home services while the alleged beneficiaries were hospitalized;  
  • $3.3 million in payments to clients not deemed eligible for receipt of services; and
  • $0.9 million in payments for home services while the alleged beneficiaries were in nursing homes

The audit also found that almost 3,800, or almost 6% of the state’s home care workers, were convicted of felonies. Of these, approximately 600 were violent crimes, 300 were sex-related crimes, 1,100 were financial crimes, and 2,000 were drug-related crimes.

The Role of Home Care Providers

Generally, while the audit did not explicitly accuse home care providers of fraud, it stated that there was greater risk of both provider and client fraud due to the Department of Human Services adult services workers in the program failing to properly verify that services had been rendered. The audit did find home care providers at least partially to blame in some areas, mentioned below. The audit unfortunately did not indicate the extent to which the findings relate to agency providers versus individual providers. The only exception is the $6.8 million in overpayments, which is from agency providers not having on file all the required documentation to be an approved agency provider.

Improper payments due to hospitalization. Regarding the $2.6 million in improper payments for home services due to beneficiaries being hospitalized, the audit found that documentation did not show that providers notified the adult services workers of their clients’ hospitalizations. Providers had also indicated on 24 out of 25 available service logs that they were providing services to their clients on days that the latter were in fact hospitalized.

Improper payments due to nursing home institutionalization. Regarding the $0.9 million in improper payments for home services due to beneficiaries being in nursing homes, the audit found that case records did not show that providers notified the adult services workers of their clients’ institutionalization in nursing homes.

Suspected provider fraud. According to the audit, adult services workers failed to refer $2,700 of what they identified as suspected provider fraud for investigation.

Service logs. Providers were also found to submit 28.1% of their monthly provider service logs late, and sometimes the providers did not sign the logs. The audit recognized that providers lacked an incentive to submit timely provider service logs, as the state currently pays providers monthly regardless of whether or not they submitted the logs in a timely fashion.

Background Checks

Two years ago, Michigan enacted a law that banned unions from collecting dues from home health care workers. The law ended funding for the Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3) that mandated such workers join SEIU, and also ended an optional registry which required background checks for workers that registered. Patrick Wright, vice president of legal affairs at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, stated that the intent of MQC3 was not to safeguard beneficiaries by enacting background checks, but rather to perpetuate union dues.

Due to the audits findings, the Michigan Department of Community Health plans to enact new background check policies, which will include enumerating crimes that would disqualify a person from working in the Medicaid Home Help Program. 

For the complete story, click herehere and here. For the original audit, click here.


The National Council on Medicaid Home Care – a NAHC affiliate - supports federally funded background checks and a national registry system. Federal and state background check requirements should not be duplicative. Any new requirement should not impose burdensome supervisory requirements on home care agencies while a background check is pending and must protect providers from liability during a provisional period of employment. Further, it should mandate that agencies be adequately reimbursed for the cost of the background checks. For details, see pages 53 and 54 of the Council’s 2014 policy blueprint, here.





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