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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, HCTAA Comment on Proposed Federal Rule to Promote Nationwide Health IT Exchange

June 2, 2015 08:34 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) along with its affiliate, the Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA), submitted comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today in response to ONC’s request for public comment on its proposed 2015 EditionHealth IT Certification Criteria, a federal rule to promote interoperability in the nation’s health information technology infrastructure.

NAHC and HCTAA submitted the comments in a letter from Richard Brennan, Vice President for Government Affairs and Technology at NAHC and Executive Director of HCTAA, that was addressed to ONC head Dr. Karen DeSalvo.  The purpose of the letter, Brennan said, was to emphasize the importance of the “much needed alignment of standards” for technology use nationwide and “encourage the exchange of health information amongst physicians, hospitals, home health care, hospice and other long-term post-acute care (LTPAC) providers.”

In the letter, Brennan expressed support for the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria’s inclusion of a new standardfor home health agencies to support the transitions of care certification criteria as well as the CARE Plan standard to support longitudinal coordination of care.  NAHC and HCTAA have advocated for these standards as being “key components to the interoperable exchange of health information between HHAs, hospice, physicians, and hospitals and other LTPAC settings.” 

“We believe that inclusion of these standards in the 2015 Edition will provide the glide path to the adoption and use of electronic health records by home health care and hospice providers,” Brennan wrote.

However, Brennan stated that NAHC and HCTAA continue to encourage the Department of Health and Human Services to provide federal incentives – grants and resources -  to home health and hospice agencies for the adoption of information technology use.

“We are also encouraged by the recently released Medicaid and CHIP Managed Care Proposed Rule that states could make available incentive payments for the use of information technology by providers currently ineligible for meaningful use payments - including long-term care providers, behavioral health providers and home health agencies,” Brennan wrote.  “We will continue to advocate that HHS provide incentives to advance the adoption of Health IT systems by home health care and hospice providers and to support health IT exchange standards.”

The comments represent a continuation of NAHC and HCTAA’s efforts to assure ONC that home health and hospice agencies are vital to achieving interoperability, and that they need more assistance to adopt electronic health records and participate in the effort toward the interoperable exchange of health information.  In April, as previously reported, NAHC and HCTAA submitted comments on ONC’s Interoperability Roadmap.

To read NAHC and HCTAA’s most recent letter, please click here.




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