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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

House Panel Emphasizes Shift to Home and Community-Based Care as “Key” to Improving Medicaid

July 10, 2015 08:45 AM

With the 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid taking place on July 30, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health convened a hearing on Wednesday, July 8, to assess the Medicaid program and discuss ways to protect and improve it moving forward. The hearing was titled, “Medicaid at 50: Strengthening and Sustaining the Program.” Among the focus areas to improve the program discussed during the hearing was a greater emphasis on home and community-based care.

The hearing witnesses included Vikki Wachino, Deputy Administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services; Carolyn Yocom, Health Care Director at the Government Accountability Office (GAO); and Anne Schwartz, Executive Director of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC).

In her opening statement, CMS Deputy Administrator Wachino said that one of the ways in which CMS is working with states to improve the Medicaid program is by “continuing to advance the ability of seniors and people with disabilities to receive home and community-based care.”

“CMS continues to look for ways to enable Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities to receive home and community-based care, instead of relying on institutional care,” Wachino said. “The commitment to deliver care in ways that improve both efficiency and beneficiary outcomes extends beyond the delivery of acute and outpatient care to the delivery of long term care services as well. The passage of the Affordable Care Act provides new and expanded opportunities to serve more individuals in home and community-based settings.”

Wachino further emphasized the importance of “acknowledging that the majority of Medicaid spending is in the area of long-term care services and supports” and “making sure that the delivery of these services is supported by robust data.” As result, she said, CMS is currently focused on testing “how health information technology can be implemented in this component of the Medicaid program.”

Representative Jan Shakowsky (D-IL)discussed the effort by Medicaid to shift individuals from institutions to community-based care. Wachino affirmed that beneficiaries report that they want to remain in their homes and communities, and that Medicaid waivers have made it easier for enrollees to receive care at home. She also cited recent reforms which would make it easier for enrollees to hire and fire direct care workers. She reiterated CMS’ commitment to increasing spending on community-based care.

“One of the most important elements of long-term care has been community-based care,” said Shakowsky. Shakowsky highlighted the fact that today 51 percent of long-term care spending under Medicaid is spent on community-based care as opposed 33 percent 10 years ago.

“We hear consistently from beneficiaries that they want to remain in their communities, they want to remain active, and they want to remain with their families as much as possible,” Wachino said, affirming the importance of home and community-based care. “The proof is in the pudding, as you say, and seeing the equalization of spending on institutional care versus home and community-based care is a very major advance in modernization in our program and we’re gonna keep at it and move the needle further.”

In its 2015 Legislative Blueprint for Action, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice has provided a number of recommendations for improving Medicaid beneficiaries’ access to home and community-based care, including shifting the necessary resources to support increased long-term care services under Medicaid.




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