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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

Quality Improvement Organizations Begin Restructuring the QIO Program

August 1, 2014 10:56 AM

Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) have begun activities related to the restructuring the QIO Program that aims to improve patient care and  health outcomes, and to better coordinate QIO resources.

This first phase of the restructuring allows two Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care (BFCC) QIO contractors to support the program’s case review and monitoring activities separate from the traditional quality improvement activities of the QIOs. The two BFCC QIO contractors are Livanta LLC, located in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, and KePRO, located in Seven Hills Ohio.

The BFCC QIOs will provide services across the five geographic areas listed below.

.Area 1: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virgin Islands

Area 2: District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia

Area 3: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wyoming

Area 4: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin

Area 5: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington

The geographic Area 1 and Area 5 were awarded to Livanta, LLC.  

The contract awards for Areas 2, 3 and 4 were awarded to KePRO

Beneficiary appeals related to Notices of Medicare Non-Coverage (NOMNC) that home health and hospice agencies issue upon discharge is one function the BFCCs will be preforming. Home health and hospice agencies will need to revise the NOMNC to reflect the name and contact information of the new QIO. 

Agencies have raised concerns about how to handle large numbers of forms that have already been preprinted with the previous QIOs name and contact information. CMS recently provided the following guidance regarding methods that are permissible in revising existing forms.

“We expect Medicare providers/contractors to ensure affected Medicare notices reflect the correct, updated QIO contact information as quickly as possible as and no later than September 1, 2014. 

CMS is not prescribing how Medicare providers/contractors update Medicare notices with the new QIO contact information (e.g., whether the new QIO contact information is written-in or printed on a sticker or label).  The goal is to provide the updated information as quickly and accurately as possible and to ensure that beneficiaries know who to call.  Again, whichever method is selected, we ask providers/contractors to please ensure the updated QIO contact information it is clearly identified.”

Agencies should download templates of the NOMNC here and update them accordingly as soon as possible.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has developed a chart with the name and contact information for the two BFCC QIOs according to geographic area. 

In order to ensure a smooth transition, incumbent QIOs have begun messaging about the change and telephone numbers will be rolled over to the new BFCC QIOs, and/or the incumbent QIOs will revise their automated directories to reflect the new contact information.

In addition to the BFCC QIOs, CMS has contracted with 14 fourteen organizations that will work with providers and communities across the country on data-driven quality initiatives. These QIOs will be known as Quality Innovation Network (QIN)-QIOs.

QIN-QIO projects will be based in communities, health care facilities and clinical practices.  They will drive quality by providing technical assistance, convening learning and action networks for sharing best practices, collecting and analyzing data for improvement.

The QIN-QIOs will work on strategic initiatives outlined in the 11the Statement of Work, such as, but not limited to, reducing healthcare associated infections, reducing readmissions and medication errors.  QIN-QIOs will also provide technical assistance for improvement in CMS value based purchasing programs, including the physician value based modifier program.  As a result of the changes, some home health and hospice providers will now work with a different QIO than in the past

Home health and Hospice providers are encouraged to work with the new QIO contractors in order to promote new approaches to improve care for beneficiaries, families and caregivers.





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