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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

Further Concerns Raised about Bundling Legislation

Congressman McKinley Speaks in Support; Center for Medicare Advocacy Expresses Concerns
May 21, 2015 10:50 AM

Over the past two weeks, there has been continued discussion among lawmakers and stakeholders who are divided over legislation—the Bundling and Coordinating Post-Acute Care (BACPAC) Act (H.R. 1458)—that would bundle Medicare payments for post-acute care.  As previously reported, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing last month to discuss the bill and how best to improve post-acute care.  NAHC submitted an official statement for the hearing record that outlined principles for improving post-acute care and expressed concerns with certain aspects of BACPAC.

Most recently, the bill’s sponsor, Congressman David McKinley (R-WV), delivered comments yesterday at a briefing hosted by the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation promoting the legislation.  You can access more information about the briefing here.

McKinley has argued that his legislation will strengthen Medicare by improving care coordination, and during his remarks yesterday he said the bill would help make “commonsense savings to preserve Medicare services, protect jobs, and make sure we keep our promise to seniors.”

However, McKinley’s comments in support of the legislation followed the release last week by the Center for Medicare Advocacy of an article expressing concerns with the bill, including that it might cause “skimping” in post-acute care for patients and that it focuses more on cutting costs than on improving care coordination.

“Unfortunately, BACPAC adds a financial incentive to skimp on post-acute care,” wrote CMA.  “The bill’s requirement to phase in bundled payments, beginning with the highest cost beneficiaries, also suggests that cost-savings, rather than improved coordination of care for patients, is the key goal of the legislation.”

CMA also said the bill raises concerns about “patients’ rights, conflict of interest, unrecognized Medicaid costs, and observation status.”  With regards to patients’ rights, CMA stated that the bill fails to address whether patients would be able to select a care coordinator and what information would be available to them about the network and providers available in doing so.  CMA also questioned the lack of rights for patients regarding notice and appeal.

CMA further noted conflict of interest with the coordinator having a financial incentive to select low cost, rather than high quality, care for patients.  In addition, the CMA article further described the bill’s exclusive focus on Medicare without including Medicaid and that it contains a loophole for patients who return to a hospital as an outpatient including observation status. 

The concerns CMA were similar to those expressed by NAHC and members of Congress as part of the House hearing on post-acute care last month.  In its official statement for the hearing record, NAHC stated it would be premature to move forward with the legislation before Congress can learn from ongoing demonstration projects and expressed concerns with specific aspects of the legislation, including: the exclusion of Medicare physician services from bundling; too much deference to federal agencies on PAC bundling design; and failure to integrate with the IMPACT Act in developing uniform assessment tools to enable bundling in the PAC setting.  During the hearing, multiple members of Congress expressed similar concerns.

To read NAHC Report’s previous article about the House hearing, please click here.




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