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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

Washington Post Publishes its Fifth Article in a Series on Hospice

Article includes a consumer’s guide that includes data on profit status, most recent survey, patient count, average cost per patient day, accreditation status, and whether the hospice offers “crisis care”
October 28, 2014 01:44 PM

The Washington Post recently published the fifth article in its series on hospice care. The article, “Quality of U.S. hospices varies, patients left in dark,” focuses on the dearth of quality data that is available.  While the article presents an overall negative view of hospice, it also provides a positive example.  Additionally, the article provides a consumer’s guide that includes data on profit status, most recent survey, patient count, average cost per patient day, accreditation status, and whether the hospice offers “crisis care.”

“While the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) believes that guidance to consumers about hospice care is very  much needed, we have serious concerns that the information provided as part of the Post’s Consumers Guide is misleading.  For example, the guide includes data on when the hospice was most recently surveyed as well as whether the hospice is accredited.   Until this month there was no legislative mandate regarding frequency of hospice surveys, so many hospices have not had a recent survey,” said Theresa Forster, Vice President for Hospice Policy and Programs at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. “NAHC has worked for many years to require that hospices are surveyed by state survey agencies with greater frequency, and was active in efforts to include a legislative mandate that hospices be surveyed, at a minimum, every 36 months, in the recently-enacted IMPACT Act (Public Law 113-185).  However, the guide fails to indicate that hospices accredited by accrediting bodies are surveyed every three years.  This failing paints an inaccurate picture of an accredited hospice’s commitment to delivery of high quality care and the ongoing oversight accredited hospices are subject to in order to ensure that they meet the hospice Conditions of Participation. “

According to the article:

 “The absence of public information about [a hospice’s] quality, a void that is unusual even within the health-care industry, leaves consumers at a loss to distinguish the good from the bad.

Though the federal government publishes consumer data about the quality of other health-care companies, including hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies, it provides no such information about hospices.

After years of public pressure, Congress in 2010 required that the government publish information about hospice quality, but the Medicare agency said in May that such consumer information would not be forthcoming until 2017 — at the earliest.

Similarly, state records of hospice inspections are often unpublished, sparse, and, when they are available, difficult to find and understand. Government inspections of hospices have typically been scheduled about every six years, though Congress in September called for more frequent checks.”

The consumer’s guide included in the article indicates that a hospice does or does not provide crisis care, presumably based on whether or not claims data indicates that the hospice has provided Continuous Home Care (CHC) to any of its patients during a recent time period.  The guide fails to clarify that the standard for CHC is very rigorous, so a hospice may provide intensive care in the home but not fully meet the standard for CHC and therefore bills care provided under the Routine Home Care level of care. 

“Additional concerns relate to the data used for per patient day spending, which may be misleading as it does not address weighting based on variable wage indices depending on the location of service,” continued Ms. Forster. “NAHC is developing a list of concerns that it will submit to the Washington Post and the authors of the article.”

 If the information related to a particular hospice is incorrect or misleading, the Washington Post has included a section where comments (scroll down to “Contact Us” section) may be submitted.   NAHC encourages its members to provide accurate information related to the data contained in the guide to ensure that hospices are accurately represented. 

To read the full article, please click here.

 

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