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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

NAHC’s Vice President of Technology Policy Delivers Presentation at Briefing for Congressional Staff

March 3, 2015 01:01 PM

Last week, NAHC’s Vice President for Technology Policy and Government Affairs, Richard Brennan, delivered a presentation during a briefing for Congressional staff held in the Russell Senate Office Building. Mr. Brennan’s presentation, “Adopting Information Technologies for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care: Achieving Care Continuity a.k.a. Longitudinal Coordination of Care,” was one of several presentations that were part of the briefing, which was organized by the Institute for E-Health Policy and supported by Senators Thune (R-SD) and Klobuchar (D-MN) on the role health IT plays in long-term and post-acute (LTPAC) care.

In his presentation, Mr. Brennan mentioned that home health care is playing an integral role in the new models of care – citing the statistics that 18.7 percent of home health agencies participate in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), 6.4% are involved in Bundled Payment Partnerships, 12.3% are part of Patient-Centered Medical Homes, and 20.3% participate in Transitional Care Programs. Given these new approaches to care, he suggests, new models of care for LTPAC providers would require a common health IT infrastructure that promotes interoperable health information exchange and longitudinal coordination of care across the spectrum of providers and settings.

Each year approximately 15 million medically complex and/or functionally impaired individuals receive long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) services in nursing facilities (SNFs), home health agencies (HHAs), and other settings. Not only is LTPAC - and especially home health care - becoming an important setting to reduce rehospitalizations as a key component of new care delivery models, but home health is also serving to enable seniors to age in place and avoid unnecessary rehospitalizations and emergency room visits.

With many of the individuals who receive LTPAC services in the top 10% of patients that account for 70% of all Medicare health care spending, home health care poses a financially responsible alternative to more expensive care settings – and one that is preferred by patients. The average per day cost to Medicare for a 90-day episode of care is $58 for home health care, $453 for a skilled nursing facility, and $2,178 for hospital care.

Despite the high-quality and cost effective care that home health provides, its adoption of EHR – while increasing – lags behind the rates of adoption by other care settings. This lag is due in part by the fact that home health agencies do not receive incentive payments from ONC to adopt EHRs and no certification programs exist, essentially leaving home health agencies on the outside looking in with respect to health IT implementation and adoption.

Despite home health agencies’ not being incentivized to adopt health IT into their practices, the statistics on health IT’s benefits – as cited in Mr. Brennan’s presentation – offer optimism for continuing to help reduce costs and improve both the quality of care as well as its outcomes.

Specifically, health IT has been found to lead to:

  • 72.9% increase in overall quality
  • 64.4% increase in care coordination
  • 64.2% increase in patient satisfaction
  • 56.1% increase in patient self-care
  • 69.8% lower unplanned hospitalizations
  • 65.1% lower emergent care admissions

“Adoption and use of health IT needs to be personalized to the setting. It’s not a one size fits all proposition,” said Mr. Brennan during his presentation. “Incentives, payment reform, and the business case for health information exchange is necessary to achieve a higher degree of technology adoption and use in LTPAC and home health care. Rather than rely on new care and payment models to support the cost of health IT adoption by LTPAC, HHS should consider other specific strategies to encourage the adoption health IT - including EHRs and telehealth - and health information exchange.”

Such strategies, Brennan suggests, may include direct incentive payments at the federal and/or state level, reimbursement of a broader array of telehealth services, health IT grants, and no/low-interest loans in addition to no/low-cost technical assistance on planning and implementation, by HITRECs for example.




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