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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

Leadership Council of Aging Organizations Sends Letter to President Obama Urging that his Budget not Shift More Costs onto Medicare Beneficiaries

January 29, 2015 12:03 PM

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) recently sent a letter to President Obama urging him to resist shifting more costs onto Medicare beneficiaries in his FY16 budget. The LCAO letter, which was signed by NAHC, urges President Obama to exclude provisions that were included in previous budget proposals. Two such provisions - home health copays and additional payment cuts for post-acute care providers - were included in the President’s FY15 budget as well as previous proposals, and would be of great concern to the home health community. For more on NAHC’s position on these budget proposals, please see NAHC Report, March 5, 2014.

The President will be submitting his budget to Congress next week. According to the LCAO letter:

“We urge you to abstain from including proposals in the FY2016 budget, namely those included in past budgets, that would shift additional health care costs to people with Medicare. At the same time, we ask you to again express support for securing better prices on prescription drugs, specifically by restoring Medicare drug rebates, accelerating closure of the Part D coverage gap and through patent reforms.

Our opposition to shifting additional costs to older adults and people with disabilities is underscored by the stark economic reality facing many people with Medicare. In 2013, half of all people with Medicare—more than 25 million beneficiaries—lived on annual incomes less than $23,500, and one quarter had annual incomes at or below $14,400. Despite their relatively low incomes, people with Medicare already spend a significant amount on health care. On average, in 2012, Medicare households spent 14% of their total budgets on health care, compared to 5% among non-Medicare households.

While the economic circumstances facing people with Medicare are cause for concern, recent trends related to the financial health of the Medicare program are promising. The rate of Medicare spending growth is at a historic low. From 2010 to 2014, per capita spending increased by only 0.7% and by just 0.3% in 2014. This trend has contributed to significant improvements in the solvency of the Part A trust fund, while also producing positive returns for seniors and people with disabilities through a stable Part B premium for a third consecutive year.

Shifting additional costs to Medicare beneficiaries to secure federal savings is unwarranted due to these historic reductions in Medicare per capita spending growth, and alongside the ongoing implementation of payment and delivery system initiatives designed to enhance program efficiency. In particular, we oppose Medicare cost shifting proposals intended to discourage Medicare beneficiaries from seeking health care services. These include increasing the Part B deductible, introducing a home health copayment, increasing brand name copayments for low- income beneficiaries and taxing comprehensive Medigap supplemental plans.

NAHC has long considered home health copayments a “sick tax” on beneficiaries, and appreciates that the LCAO explicitly asked the President not to include such proposals in his budget.

The LCAO letter goes on to emphasize that:

“Decades of empirical literature on patient behavior and cost sharing finds that these so-called structural reforms will not yield the result of encouraging Medicare beneficiaries to seek high- value care. Raising cost sharing, including deductibles and copayments, amounts to a regressive tax which would force many beneficiaries to forgo necessary care. These ill effects would be borne disproportionately by those with the lowest incomes (most of whom do not receive assistance to pay for these expenses), and may result in the increased use of costly ambulance rides, emergency room visits and hospital stays…

[A]dded health care costs put the health and financial well-being of people with Medicare at risk. Therefore, in this 50th anniversary year for the Medicare program, we urge you to omit past proposals to shift additional health care costs to Medicare beneficiaries from your FY2016 budget request.”

Once the President submits his budget to Congress, NAHC Report will highlight its key provisions – including whether or not President Obama has once again included provisions that shift more costs to Medicare beneficiaries.

To read the full LCAO letter, please click here.

 

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