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National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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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

Court Issues Temporary Restraining Order

Latest decision overturning the Department of Labor’s new definition of “companionship services” follows NAHC’s previous court victory on DoL’s proposed overtime rules that would have negatively affected access to home care and hospice services
December 31, 2014 01:37 PM

Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) preventing a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rule that redefines the “companionship services” exemption from overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act from taking effect on January 1. The temporary order follows an earlier ruling by the court on December 22 that restored the rights of home care consumers to benefit from the “companionship services” and “live-in” exemptions regardless of whether the workers are employed by the person receiving the care or a home care company. Both rulings are seen as resounding victories for the home care and hospice community.

 “This means that our most vulnerable citizens get at least a temporary reprieve from an increase in the cost of the care they need to stay in their own homes,” said Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “This is a crucial step towards protecting peoples’ rights and access to home care,” continued Mr. Halamandaris.

The lawsuit challenges a rule that would significantly change a longstanding, 40 year-old federal overtime compensation exemption known as the “companionship services” exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  That rule would redefine “companionship services” to be primarily “fellowship” and “protection,”  allowing for only incidental personal care services before the exemption is lost.  The change would have meant that nearly all of current caregivers would be entitled to overtime compensation. This change would create higher care costs that would have been borne by consumers and financially strapped government funding programs, such as Medicaid.

Following the court’s ruling on December 22, NAHC asked the court to stay the effective date of the new definition of “companionship services,” a rule change that was part of the Department of Labor’s effort to severely restrict the overtime exemptions of home care employees. It was necessary to litigate the change in definition after the ruling on which employers are subject to overtime obligations in order to firmly establish legal standing to prosecute the claim.

In its motion for a temporary stay, NAHC argued that home care recipients, companies, employees, and payers of services would face a risk of irreparable harm if the rule went into effect. NAHC also explained that it would be likely that its claims would succeed on the merits and that the public interest would be best served by maintaining the status quo on overtime while the lawsuit proceeds.

The effort for temporary relief was supported with detailed affidavits of likely harm submitted by two disability rights advocacy groups, The Centers for Independent Living and ADAPT along with the Kansas state Department on Aging which is concerned about the financial stability of its home care programs if overtime compensation is required.

The next phase of the case will occur quickly, as the court has scheduled a briefing and a hearing on whether a Preliminary Injunction should be issued. A TRO can be in force for no more than 14 days while a Preliminary Injunction can be in effect until a final ruling on the case.

The hearing is set for January 9. The judge indicated that he may rule on the preliminary injunction at the hearing, but he would rule no later than January 13.

During the time in which the TRO is in effect, home care companies can continue to pay home care aides and personal care attendants without added overtime compensation except where state law requires it.

Home care companies are advised to consult competent counsel to determine if they qualify to use the exemption. If the requested injunction is granted on January 9, the exemption from overtime will continue until the court’s final ruling or the Court of Appeals reverses the injunction. The Department of Labor has previously indicated that it would appeal any adverse ruling of the court.

"Obviously some well intentioned people in the DOL put forth a rule which they said would be good for patients, helpful to homecare employees, and the companies that hire them, and equally good for State/Federal programs such as Medicaid. The fact is that the proposed regulation would have had exactly the opposite effect on every category.   For this reason NAHC applauds the US District Court for its rulings  and will continue to lead the effort  in support of the companionship rules as they have been in effect for more than 40 years,  and which have been sustained by a unanimous vote in the U.S. Supreme Court,”  said Chairman Devoti.




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