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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

CMS Holds Open Door Forum on Implementation of the IMPACT Act

February 27, 2015 09:51 AM

Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conducted a Special Open Door Forum (ODF) call to introduce its plans for implementing the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act). The IMPACT Act was passed on September 18, 2014 and signed into law by President Obama.

The IMPACT Act, in general, states that the Secretary shall require the submission of standardized clinical assessment data - with domains as specified - using assessments submitted to CMS by Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCH), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF), Home Health Agencies (HHA) and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRF). It further requires the submission of standardized data using such assessments for use the quality measures for which the Act specifies five domains. Additionally, the law requires that standardized data be submitted on measures related to resource use, and other categories.

The IMPACT Act stipulates that the standardized data must be interoperable to allow for the exchange of data using common standards and definitions, the facilitation of care coordination, and improvement in Medicare beneficiary outcomes. Further, post acute care (PAC) assessment instruments must be modified to enable the submission of standardized data and to compare data across all applicable providers.

During the call, CMS reviewed the domains specified in the Act for both the assessment and the quality measures as follows:  

Assessment Data Domains:

  • Functional status
  • Cognitive function and mental status
  • Special services, treatments, and interventions
  • Medical conditions and co-morbidities
  • Impairments
  • Other categories required by the Secretary

Quality Measurement Domains:

  • Functional status, cognitive function, and changes in function and cognitive function
  • Skin integrity and changes in skin integrity
  • Medication reconciliation
  • Incidence of major falls
  • Communicating the existence of and providing for the transfer of health information and care preferences

Measurement Domains Pertaining to Resource Use; and Other:

  • Total estimated Medicare spending per beneficiary
  • Discharge to community
  • Measures to reflect all-condition risk-adjusted potentially preventable hospital readmission rates

CMS is required by statute to standardized quality and resource measure reporting across PAC providers by 2017. The use of standardized assessment data across PAC providers must be in place for SNFs, IRFs, and LTCHs no later than October 1, 2018, and for HHAs no later than January 1, 2019.

In order for CMS to meet the statutory timeline for standardized quality and resource measure reporting across PAC providers by 2017, they seem to be on a fast track and will use the following criteria in selecting the measures:

  • Address a current area for improvement
  • Consider  measures in place in post-acute care quality reporting programs,   and are:
    • already endorsed and in place,
    • finalized for use
    • already previewed by the National Quality Forum (NQF), Measure Applications Partnership (MAP)
  • Minimize burden

The following measures have been selected and submitted to NQF, MAP:

  • Functional status, cognitive function, and changes in function and cognitive function
  • Percent of patients/residents with an admission and discharge functional assessment and a care plan that addresses function
  • Skin integrity and changes in skin integrity
  • NQF #0678 Percent of Residents or Patients with Pressure Ulcers That Are New or Worsened
  • Incidence of major falls
  • Percent of Residents Experiencing One or More Falls with Major Injury (NQF)
  • Measures to reflect all-condition risk-adjusted potentially preventable hospital readmission rates that are currently collected by each PAC provider

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice  submitted commentsto the MAP on the proposed measures.

During the question and answers portion of the call CMS clarified that they will be going through the formal rule making process to adopt measures related to the IMPACT Act reporting requirements.

For more information on the implementation of the IMPACT Act and to view the presentation from the ODF call, please click here.

CMS is interested in hearing from stakeholders. To submit comments, please click here.

 

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