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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

Hospice Quality: CMS Posts National Provider Call Audio, FAQs, and Clarification on HIS Manual/Data Specs

July 1, 2015 09:39 AM

A National Provider Call regarding the Hospice Item Set (HIS) manual changes was held on June 17, 2015.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted the call audio, slides, and a written transcript; all are available here. 


Additionally, the following two items related to the National Provider Call have been posted online:


1)    FAQs from June 17th National Provider Call Now Available for Provider Download -- Released June 30, 2015


A frequently asked questions (FAQs) document from the June 17th National Provider Call is now available for provider download in the “Downloads” portion of the “Hospice Item Set (HIS)” section of this webpage. The National Provider Call was hosted to cover updates made to V1.02 of the HIS Manual; V1.02 of the HIS Manual is also available for provider download in the “Downloads” portion of the “Hospice Item Set (HIS)” webpage.


2)    Clarification of HIS Manual and HIS data submission specification versioning: V1.02 of HIS Manual associated with V1.01.0 of HIS Data Submission Specifications, not V1.02.0 -- Released June 23, 2015


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released an updated version of the HIS Manual, V1.02. CMS would like to clarify the relationship between guidance in V1.02 of the HIS Manual and the HIS data submission specifications.

Changes to V1.02 of the HIS Manual do not correlate with changes in V1.02.0 of the data submission technical specifications. These two documents run on separate versioning schedules. Changes in V1.02 of the HIS Manual correlate with changes that were in V1.01.0 of the data submission specifications, which were effective 6/28/15 (the same effective date as V1.02 of the HIS Manual).

Updates to V1.01.0 of the data submission specifications that are included in updated guidance in the HIS Manual V1.02 include:

  • Allowing the date in J2040B to precede the date in J2030B
  • Allowing the date in F3000B to precede the admission date
  • Allowing a dash for A0245

In the future, if providers would like to “map” or “crosswalk” versions of the HIS Manual with versions of the data submission specifications, these materials should be matched based on the effective date listed on materials, not the version number(s) of the materials.

Changes outlined in V1.02.0 of the data submission specifications are not included in V1.02 of the HIS Manual. Changes outlined in V1.02.0 of the data submission specifications will be addressed by guidance released by CMS at a later date, closer to the implementation date of those specifications, which is 4/1/16.

Providers can download V1.02 of the HIS Manual from the “Hospice Item Set (HIS)” portion of the CMS HQRP website here:

Providers can download V1.01.0 of the HIS data submission specifications from the “HIS Technical Information” portion of the CMS HQRP website here:​n.html.




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