Skip to Main Content
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
Twitter Facebook Pintrest


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

Heath 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

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

Senators Criticize Meaningful Use Program over Interoperability Issues and its Failure to Enable Providers to Adopt EHR

March 19, 2015 10:07 AM

This week, the U.S. Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions (HELP) Committee convened a hearing titled, “America’s Health IT Transformation: Translating the Promise of Electronic Health Records into Better Care.” During the hearing, several senators emphasized problems within the meaningful use program, which was enacted as part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act in the 2009 Stimulus bill.

The meaningful use program set the criteria for meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR) and established incentives for qualifying providers. It also established penalties for failure to the achieve standards. Unfortunately, the program excludes certain providers, such as home care and hospice providers, from receiving the incentives.

Among the senators at the hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said the meaningful use program should be “rebooted,” emphasized the need for cooperation among providers, and criticized the program’s exclusion of certain providers from eligibility for incentives to adopt EHR.“If you’re looking at the expensive people in the health care system, a lot of them are going back and forth, cycling between nursing homes and the health care system,” said Sen. Whitehouse.

In similar criticism of the program, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has specifically focused on the exclusion of home care and hospice providers from the program’s incentives.  NAHC stated in its Health IT Primer that one of its goals is to “include ineligible meaningful use providers such as home care and hospice.”

Due to these and other challenges, interoperability issues have plagued the meaningful use program. Many providers have failed to achieve the meaningful use standards and are facing penalties. The Committee’s Chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), cited a survey that found “nearly 70 percent of physicians say their EHR systems have not been worth it.”  He blamed the fact that the meaningful use program has focused on penalizing rather than enabling providers.

“Instead of government trying to make everybody do this by taking away Medicare payments, a better route would have been to find ways to enable and encourage their adoption,” said Sen. Alexander in his prepared remarks.

The hearing followed a written commentary last week by five senators—Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY—that reviewed the recent Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) roadmap for interoperability. 

“The ONC roadmap provides a framework for responsibility, governance, and accountability in regard to the future development and implementation of interoperable EHRs,” wrote the senators. “But instead of offering specific objectives, deadlines, and action items, ONC’s roadmap falls short on the nitty gritty technology specifics that vendors and providers need when developing IT products. We are left with many outstanding questions about how to achieve interoperability and how to address the cost, oversight, privacy, and sustainability of the meaningful use program.”

NAHC will continue to provide updates on the challenges with the adoption of health information technology through its affiliated Home Care Technology Association of America.




©  National Association for Home Care & Hospice. All Rights Reserved.