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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

Heath 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

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

An Update on NAHC’s F2F Lawsuit

November 27, 2014 07:41 AM

Federal District Court Judge Christopher Cooper held a status conference on November 19, 2014 in NAHC’s lawsuit challenging the validity of the physician narrative requirement in Medicare’s face-to-face (F2F) physician encounter rule. The status conference was scheduled following the report to the court that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had issued a Final Rule that rescinds the narrative requirement effective for starts of care January 1, 2015 and later.
In the status conference, Judge Cooper raised the question as to whether the lawsuit was “moot” given the rule change. A lawsuit is moot when there is no longer any live controversy.

NAHC counsel, Bill Dombi, explained that while CMS has rescinded the rule at issue, the controversy that led to the filing of the lawsuit remains, unfortunately, very much alive. With CMS’s decision to have its rule change apply prospectively only, the tens of thousands of previous claim denials have caused great harm. In addition, CMS continues to enforce the soon-to-be-departed narrative requirement with claims audits that could stretch on for many years. Currently, many of the claims under review are from 2011 and 2012, leaving claims through 2014 still subject to later audit even after the offending rule is dropped. Those claims will be reviewed under the current F2F standards.
Counsel for Medicare agreed that the case is not moot. He further conceded that CMS will continue to audit claims and that the old version of the rule will apply to any services prior to January 1, 2015.

Dombi expressed to the court that there is a need for quick action on the motions pending before the court. Currently, Medicare is asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit because of the alleged failure to exhaust all administrative remedies. NAHC has countered, arguing that Medicare has taken a final position on the issue as confirmed in the status conference. To amplify the need for court action, Dombi referenced the ongoing F2F audits in New England states where millions of dollars in claims has been retroactively denied in recent months.

The court did not issue any ruling in the status conference, but the judge indicated that he would be reviewing the case further. Dombi suggested that the court encourage Medicare to discuss a non-judicial resolution of the grievances. The judge expressed that he always supports settlements. However, Medicare’s counsel expressed that CMS is not interested in pursuing such discussions at this time.

NAHC recommends that home health agencies remain diligent in their efforts to provide sufficient physician narratives for all claims through the end of 2014 and that they be prepared to defend such claims through administrative appeals if they are subject to denials.  While the lawsuit is continuing in order to try to resolve the past claim denials and ongoing audits, it is crucial that agencies protect themselves directly with individual appeals where necessary.




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