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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

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

Senate Panel Convenes Hearing on Improving Telehealth

NAHC Commends Senators for Raising Importance of Expanding Medicare Reimbursements for Home Care Telehealth Services
April 23, 2015 12:17 PM

The U.S. Senate CommerceSubcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internetheld a hearing Tuesday on improving and expanding telehealth across the nation.  During the hearing, titled “Advancing Telehealth Through Connectivity,” several senators emphasized the importance of expanding Medicare reimbursements for telehealth services delivered to patients in their homes.  Home care and hospice telehealth services are among those currently excluded from qualifying for Medicare reimbursements.

Subcommittee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) convened the hearing to examine progress towards expanding telehealth and connectivity challenges facing providers and patients.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Brian Schatz (D-HI) emphasized the importance of more extensive Medicare reimbursements for telehealth services.  “Health policy is driven by what is and what is not reimbursed.  Medicare has to lead the way,” Schatz said.  Instead, he said, Medicare is “lagging behind not just the private sector” but behind other federal agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Schatz criticized the exclusion of many telehealth services from qualifying for Medicare reimbursements, including telehealth services provided to patients in their homes.  “Medicare will not reimburse for telehealth services if patients are located at home.  If a bedbound and disabled 83 year-old woman had a sinus infection in New York, she and her caregivers could not utilize telehealth services from their home.  They would need to expend significant time, effort, and travel expenses to get to their nearest physician if they could indeed get an urgent appointment.”

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said, with an increasingly large number of Baby Boomers approaching retirement, delivering telehealth services to patients in their homes will make the system more cost-effective.  “We want them to stay in their homes,” she said. “We want to get as much health care delivered that way [in the home] and information, so all of that is reducing costs in the long run. So I think we’re going to have to look at the reimbursement model on this.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) referenced her efforts with Senator Thune on the Fostering Independence Through Technology (FITT) Act, which would create pilot programs to provide incentives for home health agencies to use remote patient monitoring technology to better monitor Medicare beneficiaries, improve health outcomes, and reduce Medicare expenditures.  She alsoasked witness Todd Rytting, Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic Corporation of North America,to provide an update on a Panasonic study on the efficacy of remote patient monitoring technology.  Rytting stated that the technology reduced hospital readmissions and emergency room visits.

In addition to the Senators, several witnesses similarly raised the importance of expanding Medicare reimbursements for telehealth services delivered to patients at home.  You can access the full list of witnesses and their testimony here

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice today commended the Senators for raising important issues related to improving home care and hospice telehealth services.

“Telehomecare services are an important part of our delivery of home care, vital to managing chronic illness and reducing hospitalizations,” said Richard Brennan, Vice President for Government Affairs and Technology Policy at NAHC and the Executive Director of NAHC’s affiliate, the Home Care Technology Association of America.  “I want to thank the Senators and witnesses today for raising important issues related to improving telehealth services, including expanding Medicare reimbursements to include home care and hospice services.”

In its 2015 Legislative Blueprint for Action, NAHC recommends Congress: 1) establish telehomecare services as distinct benefits within the scope of Medicare and federal Medicaid coverage guided by the concepts embodied in the FITT Act, including all present forms of telehealth services; 2) allow for sufficient flexibility to include emerging technologies; 3) clarify that telehomecare qualifies as a covered service under the Medicare home health services and hospice benefits and provide appropriate reimbursement for technology costs; 4) eliminate the list of authorized originating sites for telehealth services by physicians so that the home residence would be a covered telehealth site; 5) ensure that all health care providers, including HHAs and hospices, have access to appropriate bandwidth so that they can take full advantage of advances in technology appropriate for care of homebound patients; and 5) include telehealth equipment and service delivery as allowable costs in home health and hospice.

NAHC will continue to provide updates regarding issues related to telehealth and advocate the progress toward the reimbursement of telehealth services in Medicare.




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