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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

Inside Health Policy Analyzes Home Care Community’s Response to CMS’ Proposed F2F Template

NAHC’s Vice President for Law, William A. Dombi Quoted in Article
February 19, 2015 12:13 PM

Inside Health Policy recently ran an article on the response CMS’ proposed Face-to-Face (F2F) template is receiving from within the home care community. The article, “Home Health Groups Say New Face-To-Face Form Won't Solve Problems,” reports that the home care providers have offered a luke-warm response to CMS’ proposed template.

The article states that:

“A new proposed guidance from CMS is designed to ease the confusion over the face-to-face standards by replacing the narrative from doctors with a standardized form, but home health groups are not sure the optional form will make much difference or change the three-year trend of the increase in payment denials since the requirement began.

The face-to-face requirement began in 2011 as part of the Affordable Care Act. The measure aims to stop fraud by requiring Medicare patients who want to receive care in their homes to first visit their primary doctors, who must write narratives of office visits to document the need for home care…

Based on complaints from home health agencies, HHS changed the requirements at the first of the year, instead saying that MACs could review doctors' records to determine whether patients need home care.

That change did not deal with the three years worth of claim denials. Although appeals worked through the administrative law system have largely been overturned, Smith said there is a two-year backlog in the system…

Bill Dombi, vice president for law for the National Association of Homecare & Hospice, said his members share the same concerns.

"So far our membership feels it needs to be improved from top to bottom, starting with the length," he said, adding they'd also like guidance on how much they can help doctors complete the form, beyond just writing in the patient's name.

He is also concerned about the narrative portions that accompany the check boxes.

"Given the years of difficulty with the narrative, why would they make the form a narrative?" he said.

Dombi said they will submit comments on the form and participate in a Feb. 11 call the agency scheduled.

Both groups [NAHC and the Visiting Nurses’ Association of America] are still trying to get their members paid for the numerous claim denials, although they are taking different approaches.

VNAA is primarily working with Congress, hoping they can force CMS to review the claim denials from 2011-2014…

Dombi is leading a lawsuit against HHS, and the agency has until April to submit their first brief to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

"We're also talking to CMS about a middle ground settlement. I can't say we've made a lot of progress, but I can't say we've made no progress in that dialogue," he said.

Dombi said he would like to come up with a process for reviewing the denied claims, using a standard that would be "more reasonable than a narrative."

He said there are $250 to $400 million in denied claims that are still awaiting review that could also be decided based on the new standards.”

To read the full article, please click here.

To take action urging your lawmakers and CMS to modify the F2F requirements, please click here.




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