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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

The QIN-QIOs Offer Home Health Agencies a Unique Opportunity

March 9, 2015 01:24 PM

On August 1, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program began new quality improvement initiatives under its11th Statement of Work (SOW). The 11th SOW is being carried out by the recently formed Quality Innovation Network - Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs). There are 14 QIN-QIOs that are conducting work throughout the nation with each QIN-QIO covering 2- 6 states. For more information on the QIN-QIO Program, please click here.

The 11th SoW includes opportunities for home health agencies to play a key role in achieving the nation’s goal to significantly reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes.   

Under one of the program aims: Healthy People, Healthy Communities: Improving the Health Status of Communities, the QIN-QIOs have been tasked with improving cardiac health and reducing cardiac healthcare disparities (Task B.1). Task B.1 specifically requires the QIN-QIOs to actively recruit home health agencies to participate in this quality initiative.

HHAs who manage patients with the greatest cardiovascular health needs and who are most challenged to succeed in implementing evidence-based practices to improve cardiovascular; such as those supported in Million Hearts® initiative, will be the focus of recruitment efforts.

The QIN-QIOs will provide technical assistance to HHAs as follows:

  • Utilize the Best Practice Intervention Packages (BPIPs) developed through the HHQI National Campaign to prevent heart attacks and strokes for beneficiaries receiving services from home health agencies.
  • Work with the HHA to sign up for the Cardiovascular Data Registry developed through the HHQI National Campaign in order to track progress related to the ABCS.
  • Include at least, but is not limited to, the following tasks:
    • Utilization of health literacy and educational tools for HHAs to provide beneficiary education including successful interventions and literature appropriate for all racial and ethnic beneficiaries served by the agency.
    • Ensuring that home health agencies are invited to and participate in the cardiac LAN activities, any forum and/or LISTSERV or other mechanism by which the home health agencies may collaborate with and share success stories, strategies, successful interventions, and activities with others to improve the ABCS for home health patients. 
    • Provide more intensive one-on-one technical assistance for HHAs on processes and procedures that are beneficial, including training HHAs on the use of Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign successful interventions, tools, health information technology and interoperable key clinical information and other resources focused on the ABCS.
    • Provide technical assistance to HHAs experiencing staffing shortages and those with limited technological infrastructure unable to download educational resources and literature. 

In addition to improving the cardiac health of patients, the work of this quality initiative is aligned with the goals of the proposed Conditions of Participation. Agencies can build a foundation for developing an ongoing, data-driven, agency-wide quality improvement program, while enhancing the process for care planning, delivery, and coordination of services. 

Click here to view a fact sheet on Task B.1 and home health. 

Since the QIN-QIOs have been actively recruiting home heath agencies for participation in Task B1, some agencies may have already or will soon be contacted by their QIN-QIO. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) strongly encourages agencies to respond to this opportunity to improve cardiac health and reducing healthcare disparities for the patients you serve.

Agencies do not need to wait to be contacted by their QIN-QIO. Any agency interested in participating should contact the QIN- QIO for their state and ask for the QIN-QIO 11th SoW Task B.1 lead. 

Again, NAHC urges the home health community to take advantage of this unique opportunity.




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