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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

HHS OIG Reports on Access to Medicaid Managed Care

October 7, 2014 12:10 PM

In September, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) released a report titled State Standards for Access to Care in Medicaid Managed Care. This article discusses some of its major findings, and implications for home care agencies below.

Overview

The Report is the result of a congressional request for HHS OIG to look into access of care for Medicaid managed care enrollees. HHS OIG surveyed state Medicaid agency officials in the states that had “full risk” Medicaid managed care, in a total of 33 states. The Report defines “full risk” as an arrangement where “managed care organizations (MCOs) assume the full financial risk for delivering a comprehensive set of services.” HHS OIG also interviewed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as external quality review organizations (EQROs).

The Report does not focus on home care providers, and instead focuses on primary care providers and specialists.

Findings

The Report finds that state standards for access for Medicaid managed care enrollees vary significantly. In 2013, for example, while Wisconsin had a primary care provider to enrollee ratio of 1:100, Delaware and Tennessee’s ratio was 1:2,500.

The most common access standards are: 1) those limiting the amount of time or distance enrollees need to travel to get care (32 states, with 15 of those states distinguishing between urban and rural areas); 2) required availability of appointments (31 states); and 3) a certain provider to enrollee ratio (20 states).

Conclusions

The Report criticizes state standards for not only being widely varied, but not specific to either areas of the states or certain types of providers. HHS OIG asserts that this lack of specificity restricts the states’ ability to ensure sufficient access of care. The Report suggests that CMS should issue guidance on improving state standards, and also develop specific standards for “a core set of providers that are important to the Medicaid managed care population.” Interestingly, the Report did not mention home care agencies as part of this core set, instead focusing on “primary care providers, pediatricians, obstetricians, and other high-demand specialists.”

Analysis

While the Report did not implicate home care directly, it shows that HHS OIG is beginning to evaluate access to Medicaid managed care. Further, the Report shows potential for a greater regulatory role for the federal government in Medicaid managed care, a domain typically more regulated by the states. The federal government has already began investing in greater oversight into Medicaid managed care in home care specifically, as CMS provided guidance for managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) and MLTSS EQRO protocols in 2013.

Home care agencies should note that some of the Report’s metrics, such as primary care provider to enrollee ratios and distance needed to travel to get care model some of the network adequacy provisions already seen in Medicaid managed care in home care, such as in the dual eligible demonstrations.

 

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