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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

NAHC, Senior Groups Submit Catalog of Policy Recommendations to White House Conference on Aging

May 21, 2015 03:55 PM

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) is a coalition of 72 national organizations, including the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, concerned with the well-being of America’s older population.  The LCAO is playing a critical role in preparation for the upcoming White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA).  The LCAO recently submitted a catalog of policy recommendations for consideration by the WHCOA which includes a number of policies suggested by NAHC.

The first WHCOA was held in 1961, with subsequent conferences in 1971, 1981, 1995, and 2005.  These conferences have been viewed as catalysts for development of aging policy over the past 50 years.  2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act.  The 2015 White House Conference on Aging, to be scheduled for this summer, is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade.

The White House specifically requested ideas from the LCAO that could be implemented in the short term by the Administration without requiring legislation.  NAHC offered several proposals that were included in the catalog, including:  1) implement a Medicare home health demonstration program that waives the part-time and intermittent care and homebound standards, allows greater flexibility relative to services provided, and covers services in the home that would be less costly than in a SNF or hospital; 2) implement demonstration programs and pilot projects on chronic care management under Medicare provided by an interdisciplinary team of health professionals within home health agencies to ensure a discipline-integrated, community care-based approach to care management; 3) implement a demonstration project that would allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other non-physician professional practitioners to order Medicare home health services; 4) require states to submit a detailed Olmstead compliance plan each year and establish firm deadlines with penalties for non-compliance to encourage states to rebalance their Medicaid programs by increasing the availability of home and community based care and reducing reliance on institutional care.

Other proposals in the catalog that NAHC supports include requiring coverage of advanced care planning under Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal programs, including making payable the two new CPT codes for advanced care planning and adding reimbursement for advanced care planning to the Medicare annual wellness visit.  The catalog of ideas also includes many long term proposals to expand home and community based care under Medicare and Medicaid, including the creation of a Medicare long term care benefit and improving mechanisms for ensuring that Medicaid beneficiaries can choose home and community-based care. 

The WHCOA office has also invited all stakeholders to respond to a white paper it has issued on long term care.  NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris offered a vision with specific recommendations for how America should address the challenge of providing long term care for the burgeoning elderly population.

“Encourage a policy that does everything possible to help seniors remain at home,” Halamandaris stated among his recommendations.  “They prefer to be in the home setting, where they can thrive among theirfamily and loved ones. They should only be uprooted to an institution when there isan unmistakable need.”

To learn more about the WHCOA, go to its website at  To view the LCAO catalog of ideas submitted to the WHCOA, go here.  Stay tuned to NAHC Report for more coverage of the WHCOA.




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