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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

VA Requests “Flexibility” from Congress to Overcome $2.5 Billion Budget Shortfall amid Reports of Delayed and Denied Services

June 30, 2015 07:40 AM

The U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee last week held a hearing on the state of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) budget, amid reports that veterans are facing delays and denied services. In recent days, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has received reports that the VA has denied authorizations and renewal authorizations of home health and other services due to funding shortages.

During the hearing, VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson said the agency has a $2.5 billion budget shortfall for the rest of the fiscal year. In explaining the shortfall, the agency cited increased demand for care and services as well as antiquated systems. In order to overcome the shortfall, the VA is asking Congress to provide flexibility to use funds from the Veterans Choice program to pay a network of non-VA providers.

Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) committed to working with the relevant Congressional committees in the coming weeks “to give VA the flexibility it is seeking to use a limited amount of Choice funds for non-VA care.” Miller further criticized the agency for its mismanagement and lack of transparency surrounding its cost overruns.

“VA’s continued lack of transparency and refusal to be forthright with Congress is unacceptable,” said Miller. “Talking around the facts and alluding to the need for budget flexibility without justification or supporting data has become an all too familiar practice at VA. I look forward to discussing with Deputy Secretary Gibson how such a massive shortfall could have come as a surprise to the department, and how to put an end to these frequent cost overruns while ensuring veterans receive the care they have earned.”

Gibson admitted the shortfall was unacceptable and said the agency had been caught off-guard by the sudden surge in demand. He said without the budget flexibility to fund services provided through non-VA providers, the VA might need to deny services to veterans.

Home health services are funded through the non-VA budget with a $2.5 billion shortfall. According to information received by NAHC, veterans’ requests for community care rose 44 percent in the last year.  In 2015 there will be 21-23 million community appointments, compared to 16.5 million in 2014. 

NAHC’s government affairs staff has contacted the VA for more information to determine how the agency plans to ensure home health services are provided to veterans. The VA has not yet responded to NAHC’s inquiries. There is no indication of any official VA directive to curtail home health services, and NAHC is working to confirm the needed resolution to the reported denials.

NAHC Report will continue to provide updates regarding this issue as more information becomes available.




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