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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

NAHC Files Brief in Face-to-Face Lawsuit

May 12, 2015 09:00 AM

The continuing legal challenge to the Medicare home health services physician face-to-face narrative requirement advanced with the filing of NAHC ‘s Motion for Summary Judgment and supporting Memorandum of Law. The Medicare program has until June 26, 2015 to respond followed by a July 24 deadline for the NAHC final brief.

In terms of the legal issues presented in the case, NAHC must establish that the plain language of the law does not permit the physician narrative requirement. If the language of the law is unclear or ambiguous, NAHC must prove that the requirement is unreasonable or arbitrary and capricious.

In its brief, NAHC argues that the plain language of the face-to-face physician encounter law only permits Medicare to require that the physician document that the encounter occurred during the allowable timeframe. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had previously argued in its brief that the narrative was a permitted interpretation of the word “document” that is contained in the law.  CMS’s position is that it has the authority to require that a physician document “why” the physician considers a patient meets the homebound and skilled care requirements.

NAHC’s position on the plain language argument is supported by a review of the entire sentence that includes the word “document.” That full sentence supports NAHC’s reading over the CMS reading that is based on isolating the word “document” in a silo. NAHC also argues that the narrative is a physician’s opinion, not something that fits as a matter to be documented.

Beyond the plain language, NAHC argues that the narrative is not reasonable and results in arbitrary determinations from Medicare. Specifically, NAHC explains in its brief that the narrative requirement leads to claim denials for patients who are truly homebound and in need of skilled care because the review of a physician  narrative ignores the patient’s full clinical record. NAHC argues that the policy is arbitrary and capricious because is allows a partial record review, e.g. the narrative, to control the outcome on Medicare coverage.

NAHC further supports its arguments with evidence of the confusion surrounding the standard for a compliant physician narrative, the high rate of claim denials, and the failure of CMS to provide adequate guidelines on compliance. Also, NHC explains that CMS itself abandoned the requirement when it realized it was virtually impossible to administer it fairly.

While the narrative requirement has been rescinded, NAHC is continuing the lawsuit for purposes of resolving the tens of thousands of claims previously denied for an “insufficient narrative” as well as possible future audits of claims from 2014 and earlier.   NAHC continues to seek overall relief from the face-to-face requirements and hopes to secure a legislative remedy from Congress shortly.

 

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