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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

CMS Releases Spreadsheet, Instructions for the Self-Calculation of Aggregate Cap for Hospices

Hospices Must Submit Calculation by March 31
March 4, 2015 10:32 AM

A provision of the FY2015 final hospice payment rule requires that, beginning with the 2014 cap year, each hospice must self-calculate its aggregate cap and submit it to its Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) within five months of the close of the cap year (along with any associated overpayment) or risk suspension of payment.   A final determination of a hospice’s aggregate cap liability will be calculated by the hospice’s MAC at a later date.  On March 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the long-awaited spreadsheet and instructions for use by hospices for self-calculating their 2014 aggregate cap. 

Release of the cap self-calculation spreadsheet had been delayed as CMS and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) resolved the most appropriate method for addressing the 2% sequester as part of the overall cap determination.  CMS is not requiring that a hospice take the sequester into consideration as part of its initial cap self-calculation; rather, the hospice’s MAC will incorporate the sequester as part of the final cap liability determination at a later date. 

Hospices should anticipate that their MACs will be circulating the pro-forma spreadsheet and instructions for self-calculation of the aggregate cap in the very near future, along with specifics as to where hospices should send their cap spreadsheets and any overpayment.  In order to complete the spreadsheet, hospices must secure information from the Provider Statistical & Reimbursement Report (P S & R) system.  However, since late January CMS has been transitioning the P S & R application from the IACS system to the EIDM system; throughout this time period providers have been unable to register to secure access to the P S & R, so unless a hospice was in active status prior to the beginning of the transition, it cannot gain access to the P S & R application at this time.

Palmetto GBA recently issued letters to its hospice providers containing the data that will be needed to complete the cap self-calculation.  In addition, Palmetto has posted additional information regarding the cap self calculation and submission, which can be found here.

It is NAHC’s understanding that while neither National Government Services (NGS) nor CGS plan to issue letters containing the P S & R data needed to self-calculate the cap on a jurisdiction-wide scale, both NGS and CGS will consider requests from individual hospice providers for the necessary P S & R information on a case-by-case basis.  It is also anticipated that NGS and CGS will be posting additional information on their websites in the very near future. 

CGS hospice providers who do not have access to their P S & R reports may submit a request to CGS for the cap data by contacting the CGS General Provider Contact Center at 877-299-4500 (select Option 1) and a referral will be made to the CGS Provider Audit department. 

NGS providers who do not have access to their P S & R reports may submit an email requesting the information to PS&

Following are links to information that was released from CMS earlier today:

CMS’ pro-forma spreadsheet for self-calculation of the aggregate cap is available here.

CMS’ instructions for Pro Forma self-determined aggregate cap calculation available here.




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