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National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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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

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

NAHC Affiliate, Home Care Technology Association of America, Comments on ONC’s Interoperability Roadmap: Role of Home Health and Hospice Agencies to Achieve Interoperability

April 9, 2015 09:54 AM

The Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA), an affiliate of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), submitted comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on its proposed “interoperability roadmap,” a comprehensive plan to support the interoperable exchange of health information across the continuum of providers, patients, and caregivers.  ONC released a draft of the roadmap in January for public comments.  In the draft roadmap—“Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Draft Version 1.0.”—ONC aims to outline the standards and use cases for achieving nationwide interoperability.

The comments are part of HCTAA’s ongoing efforts to advance technology use and the coordination of longitudinal care on behalf of home care and hospice professionals, and specifically to assure ONC that home health and hospice agencies are vital to achieving interoperability and need better assistance to adopt electronic health records.

HCTAA’s Executive Director, Richard Brennan, submitted comments on behalf of HCTAA in a letter to Dr. Karen DeSalvo, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Department of Health and Human Services.  In the letter, Brennan expressed concern that ONC, in its draft roadmap, does not adequately consider the vital role of home health care agencies and hospice providers.  With over 33,000 home health and hospice agencies representing a significant component of the health care delivery system, Brennan makes the case that home health and hospice providers have a crucial role in achieving interoperability.

“In most cases, the delivery of quality home health care and hospice services is very dependent upon the collaboration and exchange of health information across the continuum of care with physician practices, hospitals and other long-term post-acute care (LTPAC) providers,” Brennan writes in the letter.   “Therefore, we believe it is imperative that ONC consider home health care agencies and hospice providers as vital partners to obtain the overarching goal of interoperable health information exchange across the continuum of care.”

Brennan also states that it’s important to “establish sector specific goals – for both home health care and hospice providers – within the building blocks of the interoperability roadmap.”  He says it is problematic that the report fails to even specifically mention home health or hospice providers.  It is important, he says, to establish goals specifically for home health and hospice since “the delivery of home health care services is unique because it is the only setting that encompasses clinical professionals, the family caregiver and the patient in the care delivery process.”

LTPAC providers have lagged behind in the adoption of electronic health records because not all health care providers received monetary incentives to adopt and use certified electronic health records under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act Incentive Program.  Brennan cites a report to Congress by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in June 2013 that stated the need to address the discrepancy that has been created by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.  He states there is a need to achieve a balanced use of certified electronic health record by LTPAC providers.

The comments are just the latest example of HCTAA’s efforts to convince ONC to recognize the importance of home health and hospice agencies in achieving interoperability.  HCTAA has submitted recommendations to ONC on all three stages of the Meaningful Use program, including the Voluntary 2015 Edition Electronic Health Record (EHR) Certification program.  It also joined commenters from the LTPAC HIT Collaborative on Draft Federal Health IT Strategic Plan.

You can read the full comments by clicking here.

About HCTAA: HCTAA was established in 2005 to amplify the voices of home care and hospice professionals and unify support for initiatives that encourage the advanced use of technologies in the delivery of care and to improve person-centric longitudinal care coordination in the home.  HCTAA believes that home care and hospice providers properly equipped with advance technological solutions will serve a central role in the delivery of healthcare to individuals at home by ensuring quality, efficiency, and cost effective coordinated care.




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