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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

Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act Reintroduced in the House

NAHC praises the introduction of this important, bipartisan legislation in the House
March 10, 2015 10:22 AM

Following the introduction of the Home Health Care Planning and Improvement Act in the U.S. Senate two weeks ago, a companion bill—H.R. 1342—was introduced by Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) and 15 bipartisan cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, March 6.  The House bill, which is identical to the Senate bill and legislation introduced last Congress, would allow certain health care professionals other than physicians to sign home health plans of care. For more on the bill’s introduction in the Senate, please see NAHC Report, February 27, 2015.

“Home health care allows patients more control over their health care, and provides a sense of comfort, familiarity, and normalcy for the patient and their families. I know this first hand, because it’s what my parents chose. And it’s not just a win for the patient. Home-based care benefits Medicare as a whole.  Having people recover at home is less expensive than in a hospital or nursing home,” Walden said about the identical legislation last year. Congressman Walden has supported this legislation in past years as well, including in the 113th Congress, when the bill received 162 cosponsors in the U.S. House. The large number of previous cosponsors can be partially credited to NAHC members, who urged their elected officials to support the legislation through NAHC’s Legislative Action Center.

NAHC President Val Halamandaris praised the legislation and thanked Congressman Walden and the other cosponsors for their efforts.  “Studies have shown that the expanded use of these professionals can result in dramatic decreases in expensive hospitalizations and nursing home stays,” said Val Halamandaris“We appreciate the outstanding leadership Congressman Walden and the bill’s cosponsors have shown in helping make home and community based services more readily available to our nation’s elderly population and those with disabilities.”

Like the Senate legislation, H.R. 1342 would allow nurse practitioners (NPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNS), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), and physicians’ assistants (PAs), to certify and make changes to home health plans of treatment.  NPs, CNSs, CNMs, and PAs—particularly in rural or underserved areas—are sometimes more familiar with particular cases than the attending physician.

Non-physician health professionals are playing an increasingly important role in the delivery of our nation’s health care, especially in rural and underserved areas.  However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continue to prohibit non-physician health professionals from certifying home health services to Medicare beneficiaries.

Those who use non-physician medical professionals as their primary care providers often face the burden of an additional office visit with an unknown physician in order to receive home health care. This is an unnecessary and burdensome requirement that is inconsistent with current training and scope-of-practice guidelines.  As a result, patients in need of home care can face unnecessary expenses or delays in seeking the care they need.

Additionally, this legislation will help ensure the reimbursement of home health agencies in a timely manner and prevent interruption in the care to the beneficiary, because non-physician health care professionals are sometimes more readily available than physicians to expedite the processing of paperwork. 

Outside experts agree that this change in non-physician authority is important to meet the demand for care.  The Institute of Medicine has recommended that NPs and CNSs be allowed to certify eligibility for Medicare home health services.  In addition, outside experts believe the legislation will result in cost savings.  According to a letter from the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations sent to U.S. Senators, “outside experts assessed the impact of the bill earlier last year and projected a Medicare savings of $7.1 million in 2015 and up to a ten-year savings of $252.6 million. This analysis also notes the potential to reduce beneficiary admissions to and lengths of stay in institutional settings under the policy change.”

NAHC encourages its members to utilize the Legislative Action center to contact their members of Congress to support the bill.  NAHC remains positive that Congress will support this bipartisan approach to improving non-institutionalized care delivery and will continue our efforts building strong support for both the House and Senate bills in the coming months.

To take action and urge your lawmakers to support this important legislation, please click here.

To make the case directly to your elected officials and their staff in person, please join other home health and hospice advocates from around the country at this year’s March on Washington on March 24th in Washington, D.C.

Please click here to register to attend.

 

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