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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

Another Lawsuit Threatens California Duals Demonstration

September 22, 2014 09:24 AM

On August 29, the Independent Living Center of Southern California, along with three dual eligible beneficiaries, sued the federal and California governments in the US District Court of the Central District of California, Western Division over the state’s dual eligible demonstration, the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI). The Plaintiffs are seeking to stop the CCI. The National Council on Medicaid Home Care -  a NAHC affiliate - discusses key elements of the lawsuit (the Complaint), below.

CCI Denies Services and Informed Consent

In the Complaint, the Plaintiffs allege that the CCI prevents beneficiaries from receiving treatment during its transition period, “namely, from the time the dual is auto-enrolled into a Participating Plan for all Medicare and Medicaid services, to the time that the dual is able, if at all, to be seen and treated by the primary care physician (PCP) to whom the dual is assigned, and, obtains the medicines or treatment prescribed by the PCP.” The Complaint also alleges that “many” beneficiaries were forced to discontinue their previous treatments, which included prescriptions. The Plaintiffs assert that no other duals demonstration prevents enrollees from using their current physician during the transition period, as does the CCI.

Plaintiffs claim that this denial of services violated the human-experiment statute, 42, U.S.C. § 3515b, as it was done without obtaining informed consent.

For details, see pages 4-6, and 19-27, here.

Auto-Enrollment Violates Freedom to Choose Medicare Provider

The Plaintiffs also argue that auto-enrollment violates § 1802(a) of the Medicare Act as it denies beneficiaries the freedom to choose a Medicare provider.

For details, see pages 6 and 27-30, here.

Notices Are Illegible by Cognitively Impaired, Homeless, and non-English Speakers

The Complaint further alleges that Defendants violated the Plaintiffs’ due process rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, as they provided beneficiaries with notices that they could not read. The Complaint asserts that the 40 percent or more of the dual eligibles enrolled have a mental or cognitive impairment that prohibits them from comprehending the notices sufficiently to make an informed and competent choice regarding whether or not to opt out of the demonstration. The Complaint further states that the homeless duals population is similarly denied such a choice as these individuals don’t even receive the notices. Lastly, those that cannot read English are similarly denied an informed choice as they cannot comprehend the notices.

For details, see pages 33-37, here.

Size of Enrollment Population Violates Waiver Statutes

The Plaintiffs also allege that the Defendants violated both Medicare and Medicaid waiver statutes.  The Complaint states that “the unprecedented huge number of 456,000 duals participants” exceeds the scope for properly testing if services were adequate in the demonstration. Additionally, the size of the demonstration violates these statutes as it puts an unnecessarily large number of duals at risk.

For details, see pages 39-48, here.


The Council is skeptical of the likelihood of this lawsuit’s success, given the recent defeat of another lawsuit seeking to similarly halt the CCI. While mostly ruling on other grounds, the California Superior Court also visited the topic of readability of the notices, and found them to be sufficiently readable. For the court’s ruling in that lawsuit, click here.  For a previous Council brief on that lawsuit, click here.

The Complaint’s criticisms of the CCI come on the heels of previous stakeholder criticisms, discussed in previous Council briefs, here and here. The Council will continue to monitor the lawsuit. Home care providers are encouraged to keep abreast of developments in the dual eligible demonstrations, and to contact the Council with any questions or concerns.




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