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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

New CBO Report Calls for Stronger Medicare Anti-Fraud Reforms

NAHC has been a longtime proponent of stronger program integrity measures
October 27, 2014 03:59 PM

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released a report, “How Initiatives to Reduce Fraud in Federal Health Care Programs Affect the Budget.” The aim of the report is to look at the budgetary consequences that fraud in federal health programs – such as Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP – have on overall federal spending.

According to the report’s summary, the goal of analyzing such data was to estimate, “the budgetary effects of legislative proposals to reduce fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and how those estimates are used in the Congressional budget process.”

A review of the report’s findings in Home Health Care News expounded on what the report means to the home health and hospice community:

“Home health care often catches a bad reputation for the prevalence of fraud that occurs within the sector, despite its role as a cost-effective alternative to institutionalized care. Although fraud is certainly detectable and quantifiable, instances of abuse usually surface after the acts have been committed.

This seemingly undetectable nature of healthcare fraud has created a billion-dollar problem for the government, despite its anti-fraud initiatives already in effect.

In fiscal year 2014, spending on dedicated anti-fraud activities through the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) program was approximately $1.4 billion, which CBO notes was equal to about 0.2% of the federal government’s spending for the programs’ benefits.

“Measuring fraud is not simple, in part because fraud can be determined with certainty only after the fact,” CBO wrote in the report. “Moreover, although fraud that has been successfully prosecuted can be quantified, there is no reliable method to estimate the amount of fraud that goes undetected, especially because at first glance successful fraud can look very much like appropriate payment for health care services.”

Furthering the idea that fraud is elusive and hard to detect, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that “there is currently no reliable baseline estimate of the amount of health care fraud in the United States.”

While government entities—primarily the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ)—have undertaken several initiatives to address instances of healthcare-related fraud, CBO notes that funding for anti-fraud activities is limited.

Since 2009, the HHS- and DOJ-formed Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) has filed criminal charges and civil charges against more than 1,700 defendants who falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $5.5 billion.

In general, CBO estimates that federal spending for the programs’ benefits would be reduced by legislation that would provide either additional funding or new authority to reduce fraud.

Appropriating additional funds, making statutory changes, mandating new or additional anti-fraud activities and increasing penalties for offenders are CBO’s top proposals.

In analyzing past proposals for providing additional funding for anti-fraud activities, CBO estimated that such funding would produce savings that exceed the cost of carrying out those activities.

For such estimates, CBO compares the proposed funding against its baseline—projected spending over the next 10 years—for HCFAC spending under current law and applies to the difference a return-on-investment factor of about 1.5:1—meaning a dollar that is invested saves, on average, $1.50.

Although this new investment would yield savings, CBO stresses that the estimated savings do not “pay for” increased spending from those or other policies for the purpose of enforcing Congressional budget rules.

“Nevertheless, those savings, if realized, ultimately reduce federal budget deficits,” CBO wrote. “Whenever possible, CBO provides information about such potential savings to lawmakers while legislation is under consideration.”

CBO also analyzed legislative proposals to modify practices and behaviors in programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Specifically, CBO focuses on the scope of new requirements in proposed legislation and whether they would increase existing laws and regulations—for example, by expanding the universe of prohibited behaviors or by adding conditions for providers who wish to participate in either Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP.

In analyzing proposals to mandate new or added anti-fraud efforts, CBO considers whether the government’s current authority permits it to undertake the activity.

“Proposals might reduce spending for health care programs if they direct resources away from less effective anti-fraud activities or if they include funding for new activities that would save more than they cost,” CBO stated. “Conversely, CBO might conclude that the newly required activity would displace other actions that are more effective at reducing fraud; if so, requiring new program integrity activities might increase, rather than decrease, federal spending.”

For offenders, CBO considers how proposed changes in penalties would affect the expected costs for individuals or businesses that commit fraud, particularly whether imposing large financial penalties might deter a significant amount of fraud.

To read the full CBO report, please click here.

To read the full Home Health Care News article, please click here.

 

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