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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

Former CBO Director Urges an End to Home Health Cuts Contained in the ACA

Says Medicare needs more, not less, coordination of care and home health care
December 8, 2014 01:31 PM

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) from 2003 - 2005, recently published an op/ed in The Hill newspaper calling for an end to the home health cuts that were enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In his article, Dr. Holtz-Eakin states that:

“For decades, skilled home health care has been a key part of the Medicare program because it enables seniors to receive high-quality, coordinated health care in the lowest cost setting available – their own home. Home health has made it possible for seniors to avoid lengthy and expensive hospital stays or institutional care. Just as important, home health is one of the few places where chronically ill seniors can receive coordinated care — and Medicare needs more, not lesscare coordination. 

Despite this, to pay for ObamaCare, the ACA cut Medicare funding for home health care by an unprecedented 14 percent over four years. This is a classic case of the appeal of a line item on a budget spreadsheet trumping good policy. The reality is that this cut is so deep that the administration itself admitted it will drive “approximately 40 percent” of all home health agencies into the red by 2017. Put another way, this ObamaCare cut will cause nearly half of all the home health providers in America to layoff caregivers, sell their agencies, or declare bankruptcy. 

Left unaddressed, this will have a detrimental effect beyond seniors; it will also have a direct impact on taxpayers and the economy. By causing so many home health providers to close, the home health care cut will result in higher Medicare costs as many seniors are forced into more expensive institutional settings. The closures will also cause as many as 465,000 professional caregivers to lose their jobs…

But most important, the ObamaCare home health cut will have a direct impact on seniors and disabled Americans too. According to the federal government, the 3.5 million Americans who receive skilled home health care services are older, sicker and poorer than other Medicare beneficiaries. They are also more likely to be women, minorities and disabled. In short, they are the most vulnerable subpopulation in the Medicare program – and the law of the land makes them more vulnerable still. 

This is particularly bad news for patients in rural areas who depend on access to skilled home health care. If these cuts proceed without relief, Avalere Health estimates that 1.3 million seniors could lose their access to care. That will produce a result that the Medicare home health benefit was designed to prevent: compel seniors to leave their communities and travel long distances to receive care in hospitals, nursing homes and other institutional settings.”

NAHC has long advocated Congress to protect access to home care and hospice services by not cutting the home health benefit or adding additional copayments.

To urge your lawmakers to preserve access to home health services by opposing additional home health cuts or copays, please click here




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