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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

NAHC Releases Palliative Care White Paper

July 6, 2015 09:33 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice(NAHC) and its affiliates, the Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association (HHFMA) and the Hospice Association of America, unveiled a palliative care white paper.The white paper was formally presented at the HHFMA Financial ManagementConference this week in Nashville, TN. 

Palliative care is not well-defined and state regulations and payer requirements for it vary.Palliative Care (PC) andits “cousin,”Advanced Illness Management, answer a significant need of today’s health care system; however, the absence of a regulated model of care and reimbursement create both opportunities and challenges for home health and hospice organizations that provide this service.  This white paper is intended to share concepts and experience for providers who desire to explore and develop their own PC program.

The white paper is a comprehensive resource that addresses everything an organization needs to consider related to palliative care – the context of palliative care currently and in the future, what to consider in developing a palliative care service and how to structure it, to paymentand outcomes. There are a wide variety of palliative care services that are explored through the examination of four different existing models.  Contributors to the white paper are:

Walter Borginis, Carla Braveman, Sharyl Kooyer, Cheryl Leslie, Pam Meliso, Bill Musick (Editor in Chief), Shawn Ricketts, Lynn Roberts, and Joshua Sullivan with review by NAHC staff and members of the Hospice Association of America’s (HAA) Advisory Board, a NAHC affiliate. 

A panel led by Bill Musick presented the white paper at the Financial Manager's Conference. Each of the programs administered by the panelists was explained and similarities and differences highlighted. Each panelist shared why their program structure is best for his or her community, why it was started and some of the lessons learned.

As PC evolves, it will be increasing valuable for providers to share data related to best practices, predictive instruments/analytics, overcoming barriers and justification of PC in terms of Triple Aim goals (lower cost, higher quality/satisfaction and access).  NAHC is committed to support this process through papers such as this one, topics for its conferences and webinars, and encouraging the sharing of best practices in general.

As best practices become clearer, public policy efforts by NAHC and its members to establish standardized approaches to delivery and reimbursement of PC are envisioned.  NAHC will be monitoring the development of PC programswith the intent to recommendpolicy changes on a timeline and in a manner that supports the development of PC while not squelching innovation and creativity in the evolution of PC services.  In alignment with the white paper, the immediate focus will be on support for the development of metrics for providers and insurance plans related to care at the end of life.  Policy options for NAHC to consider include:

  • Establishment of a stand-alone Medicare Palliative Care benefit;
  • Testing of palliative care programs in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations;
  • Permitting categorical waivers within Medicare shared savings initiatives, such as ACOs, that allow at risk entities to utilize Palliative Care services;
  • Authorizing MA Plans to provide Palliative Care services as part of a benefit extension;
  • Expanded and/or clarified standards for coverage of Palliative Care as part of the Medicare home health benefit through application of the Skilled Management and Evaluation of a care Plan service under 42 CFR 409.43 and 409.33 along with use of specific physician CPT codes on PC with adequate reimbursement to match.



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