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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

CMS’ Call for Nominations for a TEP for the Hospice Quality Reporting Program

February 19, 2015 12:11 PM

NAHC and its affiliate the Hospice Association of America (HAA) wanted to share information about a CMS call for nominations for a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) for the Hospice Quality Reporting Program.  Please note that CMS is looking for experts in the field, as well as patient and caregiver nominees. 

The nomination period opened on February 11 and closes on February 27.  Additional information - including the TEP Charter and Nomination Form - is available online in the downloads section of the CMS website.  

Below is more information and details about the CMS nomination process:

Project Title:  Hospice Quality Reporting Program Technical Expert Panel

Dates: The TEP nomination period opens on February 11, 2015 and closes on February 27, 2015. Please submit all nomination materials by the closing date.

Project Overview:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has contracted with RTI International to develop supplementary quality measures in the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) to address current gaps hospice quality. The contract name is Hospice Quality Reporting Program Measure Development, Maintenance, and Support. The contract number is HHSM-500-2013-13015I. As part of its measure development process, CMS asks contractors to convene groups of stakeholders and experts who contribute direction and thoughtful input to the measure contractor during the measure development and maintenance process.

The purpose of this project is to supplement the current HQRP measure set, which includes the Hospice Item Set (HIS) and the Hospice CAHPS. CMS plans to implement additional measures of hospice quality addressing gaps in measurement that have been identified by stakeholders.  RTI International has conducted an environmental scan to support the development of these additional measures for future implementation in the HQRP. These measure areas focus on patient reported outcomes, communication and coordination of care, care responsiveness, and service utilization and skilled visits at the end of life.

The purpose of this TEP is to inform the direction and development of these measure areas. The TEP will provide input on the analysis of data from existing measures; review and provide input regarding findings from the environmental scan and the measure domains and concepts identified; inform the measure definitions and data collection approaches; and provide input on pilot test data and potential revisions to the measures or data collection approaches. We aim to involve a wide variety of perspectives, including but not limited to, researchers/measure developers, clinicians, consumer advocates, and patients and caregivers. Patients and/or caregivers with hospice experiences (current or past), in particular, are encouraged to participate in the TEP.

To reduce burden on potential patients and/or caregivers, patients and caregivers will have the option to participate in specially designed workgroup call(s) or individual phone call(s) rather than attending the more time intensive full TEP meetings. Information and input received from the patient and caregiver workgroup and individual calls will be shared with the full TEP through a liaison between the workgroup and the TEP. In addition, patients and/or caregivers’ identities can be kept confidential if requested.

Project Objectives:

  • Identify and refine priority measure concepts.
  • Define and develop specifications for each quality measure.
  • Determine the next steps needed to move forward with the development of new measures for future implementation in the HQRP.
  • Develop and implement new measures to fill the current gaps in the HQRP measure set previously identified by stakeholders.

TEP Requirements:

We are seeking a TEP of approximately 10-15 individuals with the following perspectives and areas of expertise:

  • Subject matter expertise: Hospice Quality
  • Consumer/patient/family/caregiver perspective
  • Performance measurement
  • Quality improvement
  • Purchaser perspective
  • Health care disparities

Potential TEP members must be aware that participation on the TEP is voluntary. As such, individuals wishing to participate on the TEP should understand that their input will be recorded in the meeting minutes. Proceedings of the TEP will be summarized in a report that may be disclosed to the general public. If a participant has disclosed private, personal data by his or her own choice, then that material and those communications are not deemed to be covered by patient-provider confidentiality. If patient participants (only) wish to keep their names confidential, that request can be accommodated. Any questions about confidentiality will be answered by the TEP organizers.

All potential TEP members must disclose any current and past activities that may pose a potential conflict of interest for performing the tasks required of the TEP. All potential TEP members should be able to commit to the anticipated time frame needed to perform the functions of the TEP.

Patient and/or caregiver Nominees:

RTI International is seeking hospice patients and/or their caregiver to participate on the TEP. We are seeking patients and/or caregivers who have current or past experience with hospice in any care setting - home, nursing home, inpatient hospice unit, etc. Hospice patients and/or their caregivers can provide unique and essential input on quality measures based on their own experiences with hospice care. 

To reduce burden on potential patients and/or caregivers, patients and caregivers will have the option to participate in specially designed workgroup call(s) or individual phone call(s) rather than attending the more time intensive full TEP meetings. Information and input received from the patient and caregiver workgroup and individual calls will be shared with the full TEP through a liaison between the workgroup and the TEP. In addition, patients and/or caregivers’ identities can be kept confidential if requested.

Patient and/or caregiver nominees should submit a completed and signed TEP Nomination Form and letter of interest as described below but are not required to submit a curriculum vitae.

TEP Expected Time Commitment:

  • TEP members will provide input throughout the measure development, implementation, and refinement process. This will span the duration of the project through September 2018.
  • A one (1) or one and one half (1.5)-day in-person TEP meeting, occurring no more than once per year.
  • An additional in-person meeting 6 months following the first in-person meeting.
  • Follow-up meetings via webinar or telephone as needed.

Required Information:

  • A completed and signed TEP Nomination form located in the download section below.
    • The nomination form includes a consent and confidentiality statement.
  • A letter of interest (not to exceed two pages) highlighting experience/knowledge relevant to the expertise described above and involvement in measure development.
  • Curriculum vitae or a summary of relevant experience for a maximum of 10 pages.
    • Patient participants are not required to submit a curriculum vitae and may elect to keep their names confidential in public documents.

The Nomination forms and proposed TEP Charter are found in the download section below.

If you wish to nominate yourself or other individuals for consideration, please complete the form and email it to:




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