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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

New England Senators Send a Letter on Face-to-Face Issue to CMS Administrator Tavenner

November 24, 2014 04:34 PM

Last week, nine senators representing New England states sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner expressing growing concerns that home care providers in the region are having with CMS’ cumbersome face-to-face requirements.

The letter was signed by both senators from the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts, and one of the senators from Connecticut. The letter, originated by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), crosses ideological and partisan lines with Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike signing the letter on behalf of the home care and hospice community in the Senators’ respective states.

The letter states that:

“Home health agencies in our states are being overwhelmed by a significant increase in medical review activity, with millions of dollars in payment denials related to physician face-to-face (F2F) documentation for medically necessary care to Medicare beneficiaries. Home health agencies in New England inform us that these reviews and payment denials, which they believe in many cases are unjustified, could jeopardize seniors’ access to home health care.

New England home health agencies are critical partners in helping seniors stay in their homes and age with dignity, as well as recover from illness or injury. Often, the home is the most cost-effective care setting, as well as the place where most seniors prefer to receive care… We believe it is also important to ensure that regulations are clear and consistent and that they do not result in reduced access to care for seniors and home health beneficiaries in our states…

In certain instances, during 2014, withheld and denied reimbursements have exceeded the cost of a 2-week payroll for some New England agencies. Home health agencies in New England are confident that when many of these cases are reviewed at the higher appeals level, payment coverage will be granted. However, with the current backlog of Medicare appeals, agencies could wait years to recover reimbursement.”

The letter additionally asks that CMS respond to the concerns raised by taking the following concrete actions:

  • Explain what additional steps CMS will take to better ensure the clarity of the F2F regulations to prevent any further inconsistent denial of claims across the country;
  • Describe how [CMS] will ensure that patient care will not be compromised while the appeals of F2F denials are being considered;
  • Provide [the signatories] with a current list of the outcomes of Medicare home health F2F denials and appeals across the country; and
  • Consider the feasibility of working with home health agencies to reopen or settle claims related to F2F in a manner that is equally fair to both taxpayers and home health providers. Such considerations could include analysis as to whether an agreement similar to the administrative agreement process recently offered by CMS to hospitals that have a high volume of background claim denials would be appropriate for backlogged home health claims related to F2F.

NAHC Report recently reported on the Medicare backlog that the New England senators addressed in their last bullet point. To read more about the backlog, and NAHC’s proposal to work with CMS to work out an agreement similar to the one work out with hospitals, please click here.

To read the full letter, please click here.




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