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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 Passes Legislation Extending Home-Based Demonstration Model

July 16, 2015 09:21 AM

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday, July 15, passed legislation extending for an additional two years a home-based demonstration model implemented under the Affordable Care Act. The Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act (S. 971) extends for an additional two years the Independence at Home program focusing on certain high-risk patients with chronic illnesses.

The House passed the legislation by voice vote. As previously reported, the US Senate passed the legislation in April. The bill was introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with cosponsors Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Following the Senate vote, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the legislation allowing consideration of the bill on the House floor.

The Independence at Home model uses home-based primary care teams directed by physicians and nurse practitioners to treat Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions. The demonstration tests a service delivery and payment model that provides incentives to teams based on their performances improving health outcomes and reducing expenditures. The reimbursement method shares Medicare savings between Medicare and participating providers.

The project has proven successful so far in showing the benefits of caring for people in their homes. In June, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Independence at Home had resulted in over $25 million in Medicare savings during its first performance year, as well as fewer hospital readmissions and higher quality care. In announcing the success, CMS Acting Director Andy Slavitt stated that the “results support what most Americans already want—that chronically ill patients can be better taken care of in their own homes.”

Val J. Halamandaris, President and CEO of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), has commended Independence at Home, as well as the sponsors of the legislation,  for focusing on and highlighting the benefits of caring for people in their homes. NAHC supports the Independence at Home Demonstration model, while also advocating for an expanded focus on chronic care management with a broader population than covered under Independence at Home. Halamandaris called the demonstration “a good step in what needs to be an increased focus on home- and community-based care.” The next step, he said, is for Congress to “establish a separate care management benefit under Medicare for those with chronic conditions.”

NAHC recommends the separate care management benefit should include those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and certain neurological disorders. In order to ensure a discipline-integrated, community care-based approach to care management, the service should be provided by professional nurses and others within home health agencies, under the guidance and supervision of the patient’s attending physician as a member of the care team. The services should include: 1) An interdisciplinary team approach to care management that includes physicians, nurses, therapists, medical social workers, and pharmacists; 2) Evidence-based care plan development; 3) Direct patient care services in the home setting; 4) The application of telehealth services for appropriate remote monitoring as needed by the individual patient; 5) Care counseling, care coordination, medication management, and oversight of services related to activities of daily living; 6) The use of interoperable electronic health care records and efficient electronic-based communication tools; 7) Patient education and support; and 8) Integration and support of informal caregivers such as family members.

More information about Independence at Home is available here.




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