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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

Heath 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

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

Analysis of U.S. Department of Labor Proposed Rule on New Overtime Requirements

July 10, 2015 08:44 AM

In follow-up to a directive from President Obama, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule that would raise the minimum compensation level to qualify for an exemption from minimum wage and overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as previously reported. The FLSA permits the exemption of certain executive, administrative, and professional employees provided that the workers are paid on a salary or “fee basis” at least at the level of the prescribed minimum standard. The current minimum of $455 weekly has been in place for a number of years.

DOL proposes to raises the minimum compensation level for the exemptions to the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers. That current level would be $921 weekly or $47,892 annually. The FLSA exemptions are determined on a weekly basis. In addition, DOL proposes to raise the “highly compensated employee” standard from $100,000 annually to the annualized value of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers ($122,148).

These proposed levels would be automatically adjusted annually under the new rule. DOL estimates that the minimum would rise to $970 in 2016 ($50,440 annual). Certain highly compensated employees are exempt provided they customarily and regularly perform at least one of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an executive, administrative, or professional employee. 

A business concern in advance of the issuance of the proposed rule was that DOL would change the “duties” test, leading to the narrowing of the classes of workers that might qualify for the exemption. DOL does not propose any changes in the duties test.

The application of the FLSA exemptions in home care and hospice are likely to be extensive. While exact data is not available, it is believed that the vast majority of executive, administrative, and professional staff are paid on a salaried or “fee basis.” In the event that the salaried employees are paid less than the proposed minimums, home care and hospice organizations will face increased costs through higher salaries or overtime obligations along with the added cost of tracking working hours for those staff near the minimums.

A home care and hospice specific issue is the use of the per visit compensation method with health care professionals such as RNs and therapists. Per visit compensation can, if applied correctly, meet the standard for “fee basis” compensation. With per visit compensation, there has been no real concern with meeting the current $455 weekly minimum with staff working 40 or more hours weekly. A worker hypothetically doing 4 visits a day, working 5 days a week at just $22.32 per visit, would receive in excess of $455. With the minimum potentially rising to $970 in 2016, companies will need to do a full evaluation of the impact in their specific organization.

For example, if a home care or hospice company pays $45 a visit in the above hypothetical situation, the weekly compensation would be only $900, falling short of the proposed minimum. As such, it would be essential that the company then track the hours worked to ensure that those hours do not exceed 40 in any given week. Under the FLSA, “hours worked” can be very complicated when applied to home care or hospice employment when considering the possibility of compensable travel, training, and documentation time.

The permutations in the combination of visits per week, per visit compensation levels, and hours worked is nearly endless. Managing under the proposed rule will be increasingly difficult for home care and hospice providers. Staff productivity varies greatly. Travel times between patients vary as well.

The proposed rule along with DOL analysis is available at: Public comments on the proposal can be submitted through September 4, 2015.

Home care and hospice companies that do an impact analysis are encouraged to send the results to NAHC at The National Association for Home Care & Hospice will be submitting comments on behalf of the industry and such information will be used to compose those comments.




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