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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

Senators Announce Chronic Care Working Group

June 3, 2015 09:30 AM

Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, recently announced the creation of a bipartisan chronic care working group.  The Chairman and Ranking Member also announced that Committee members, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Mark Warner (D-VA), have been appointed to co-lead the effort.

The purpose of the working group is to assess current law and develop potential policy and legislative solutions to improve chronic care. 

“As the Finance Committee looks to develop solutions that improve health outcomes for Medicare patients with chronic conditions, we intend to proceed carefully. Stakeholder input is critical for the committee to work toward its goal of producing bipartisan legislation that can be introduced and marked up later this year. To aid the Finance Committee in bipartisan chronic care reform policy development, we request all interested public and private sector stakeholders submit their best ideas on ways to improve outcomes for Medicare patients with chronic conditions,” the senators wrote in a letter to stakeholders requesting recommendations.

In the letter, the senators stated that it will review submitted recommendations based on whether they meet the following three bipartisan goals:

  1. The proposed policy increases care coordination among individual providers across care settings who are treating patients living with chronic diseases;
  2. The proposed policy streamlines Medicare’s current payment systems to incentivize the appropriate level of care for patients living with chronic diseases; and
  3. The proposed policy facilitates the delivery of high quality care, improves care transitions, produces stronger patient outcomes, increases program efficiency, and contributes to an overall effort that will reduce the growth in Medicare spending.

The Committee also specifically requested feedback on the following issue areas that it intends to address through the chronic care working group:

  • Improvements to Medicare Advantage for patients living with multiple chronic conditions;
  • Transformative policies that improve outcomes for patients living with chronic diseases either through modifications to the current Medicare Shared Savings ACO Program, piloted alternate payment models (APMs) currently underway at CMS, or by proposing new APM structures;
  • Reforms to Medicare’s current fee-for-service program that incentivize providers to coordinate care for patients living with chronic conditions;
  • The effective use, coordination, and cost of prescription drugs;
  • Ideas to effectively use or improve the use of telehealth and remote monitoring technology;
  • Strategies to increase chronic care coordination in rural and frontier areas;
  • Options for empowering Medicare patients to play a greater role in managing their health and meaningfully engaging with their health care providers; and
  • Ways to more effectively utilize primary care providers and care coordination teams in order to meet the goal of maximizing health care outcomes for Medicare patients living with chronic conditions.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is developing recommendations to submit to the working group.  Stay tuned to NAHC Report for additional information regarding those recommendations.

The public is able to submit comments and recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee at  Note that the deadline to respond is June 22, 2015, and all submissions will be considered part of the public record. 

To read the full letter from the senators announcing the chronic care working group, click here.




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