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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

VA to Pay Non-Contract Providers Using Medicare Payment Models

October 29, 2014 08:40 AM

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun issuing notices that inform home health providers of the VA’s revised payment methodology for skilled home health services. Beginning October 1, 2014, the VA will require an Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) to be completed  to generate a health insurance prospective payment system (HIPPS)  code in order to reimburse non-contracted home health agencies for skilled home health services using the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HHPPS). For non-contracted hospice providers the VA will continue to pay a per diem rate.

On February 18, 2010, the VA issued a proposed rule to implement certain payment methodologies for all non-contracted inpatient and outpatient health care professionals and providers, which included paying according to Medicare fee schedules and prospective payment systems, as applicable. When the final rule was published on December 17, 2010 the regulation included an exception for implementing the payment methodologies for home health and hospice services. The VA cited administrative and systems problems that prevented their ability to implement the Medicare payment system for home health and hospice services on such short notice. Since the final rule, the VA had delayed the effective date for the payment changes several times.

The effective date was finally set for June 1, 2014 with an implementation date of October 1, 2014.

The following was recently issued by the VA:

“The Chief Business Office Purchased Care (CBOPC) has announced the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has revised the payment regulation related to non-VA medical care claims for home health and hospice services. 

As part of a revision to Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 17.56, the change in the payment regulation, also known as AN98, will impact non-VA medical care providers for home health and hospice services that do not have an existing contract or provider agreement in place.  If VA does not have a contract, provider agreement, or negotiated rate in place, VA will pay non-VA home health and hospice claims utilizing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) Home Health Prospective Payment System and hospice payment methodology, when possible.  The effective date for the new payment methodology was June 1, 2014, however, the implementation date was on October 1, 2014.

Services included in the AN98 regulatory revision include:

  • Skilled home health care
  • Home health aides
  • Homemaker services
  • Home respite care services
  • Home hospice care

Services not included in the regulation revision for home health care include:

  • Bowel and bladder care
  • Adult day care
  • Home respiratory care
  • Home dialysis care
  • Veteran-Directed and Community Based Services
  • Home infusion therapy

Adopting CMS pricing methodology for these home health and hospice schedules and services will allow VA Medical Centers to use their resources more efficiently to meet Veterans’ needs.  The adoption of Medicare rates will also help ensure consistent, predictable medical costs, while also helping to control costs and expenditures. The AN98 implementation team has ensured the home health claims process, field procedure guide and associated training are updated to reflect this implementation.”

Agencies that do not have a contract or negotiated rate for their VA patients will be reimbursed by the HHPPS. According to the VA, any home health contract or negotiated agreement must be executed through a VA contracting office. The VA also clarified that for episodes beginning on or after October 1, 2014, the VA will require an OASIS and HIPPS code on claims. Initially, claims will not be rejected if the HIPPS code is not present, and will be paid at the current VA fee amount.

Home health agencies may bill the same as with Fee for Services Medicare including submitting a RAP with type of bill (TOB) 322, final claim TOB 329, 60/40 split percentage paid on initial claims, and 50/50 for subsequent claims, and LUPAs. The Central VA office will continue to issue guidance to the local VAs over the next several weeks.  

 

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