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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

Special Open Door Forum Held for Home Health Quality Assessment Reporting

June 4, 2015 12:11 PM

On June 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosted a Special Open Door Forum on home health quality assessment reporting that is part of the “pay for reporting” requirement.  The presenters also introduced the Historical Performance Reports that show an agency’s historical percentage rating for quality assessment submissions. 

In the 2015 home health payment rule, CMS announced its plans to implement a minimum submission threshold for the number of Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) quality assessments that each HHA must submit in order to receive the full annual percentage update (APU).  For the first reporting year, which runs from July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016, agencies will be required to submit at least 70% of their quality assessments in order to receive the full APU for calendar year 2017.

CMS refers to the metric for the quality assessments as Quality Assessments Only (QAO) since only thoseOASIS assessments that contribute, or could contribute, to creating a quality episode of care are included in the computation. CMS defines a quality assessment in the following ways:

  • A Start or Resumption of Care (SOC/ROC) assessment that can be matched with an End of Care (EOC) (i.e., transfer, death, discharge) assessment to form a quality episode of care
  • SOC/ROC assessment that occurs in the last 60 days of the APU performance period
  • EOC assessment that occurs in the first 60 days of the APU period
  • SOC/ROC assessment that can be paired with a follow-up assessment that occurs in the last 60 days of the APU period
  • EOC assessment that can be paired with a follow-up assessment that occurs in the first 60 days of the APU period
  • SOC/ROC assessment that is identified as a “one assessment only” episode per claims data information
  • Follow-up assessments (i.e., those conducted if a patient is on care for >    60 days) are not counted in the calculation  

The presenters also provided an overview of the Historical Performance Report CMS has complied for each agency.  The reports provide the QAO metric for the 2013-2014 performance year and allow agencies to see how well they performed during that time frame.  Based on 2013-2014 data, the average home health agency QAO score was 91.1%, with 86% of the agencies scoring greater or equal to 90%.

The information contained in the QAO Historical Performance Report can be divided into four sections:

  • HHA identification and total assessments count
  • SOC/ROC assessments evaluated as either quality or non-quality
  • EOC assessments evaluated as either usable or non-usable
  • Summary computations of the QAO metric score

Agencies will receive their Historical Performance Report in late June 2015 through their CASPER folders.  During the question and answer portion of the call, CMS stated that they were working on a method to provide agencies with performance repots that can be viewed timely and more consistently.  Currently the only report available to agencies that show the performance percentage for the QAO metric is the Historical Performance Report. 

Also during the question and answer session, the presenters provided the following email address,,in response to a participant’s question regarding where agencies can ask additional questions on the QAO metric.

For more information and to view the presentation slides go here.CMS also plans to post frequently asked questions on the QAO metric and quality assessment reporting to this site in the near future. 




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