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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

NAHC Submits Comments on Medicaid Managed Care Proposed Rule

July 28, 2015 08:29 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) recently submitted comments to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a proposed rule addressing Medicaid managed care (click here to see previous NAHC Report article regarding announcement of the proposed rule). The comments submitted by NAHC reflect those expressed by the beneficiary advocacy community, and also highlight several issues specific to provider interests.

In a letter to CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, NAHC expressed support for the proposed rule’s establishment of a framework for developing Medicaid managed care models, particularly Medicaid Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS). “NAHC commends [CMS] for offering a proposed rule for public comment that is a thoughtful and comprehensive consideration of the issues and concerns presented with Medicaid managed care,” NAHC stated in the letter. “We share the view that it is essential that some level of structure be implemented to guide the ever-increasing shift of Medicaid programs to managed care models, particularly with MLTSS.”

While expressing support for the proposed rule’s overall framework, NAHC expressed several  recommendations to improve it. One NAHC recommendation is to require states and contractors to develop plans to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C. While the CMS proposed rule references compliance with the ADA and Olmstead, NAHC believes that it should include “a specific obligation” for state Medicaid plans and contracting MLTSS plans to establish compliance plans with regards to Medicaid managed care development. “Such a compliance plan would aid in CMS’s review of any pertinent state plan amendments or waiver applications from a state,” NAHC stated. “With respect to the MLTSS plans, a compliance plan requirement would help operationalize compliance, making it an achievable process measure and an outcome goal that can be better audited.”

Compliance for a MLTSS program might include standards such as minimum data sets, periodic reviews, benchmarks, public reporting, in addition to minimum standards for procedures in areas such as discharge planning, enrollee service choice, information and education, care plan development, and service authorization. For a MTLSS home care program, the compliance plan should ensure “that a beneficiary has a choice of all models of care delivery” along with a level of care “sufficient to meet the individual’s needs rather than a financial budget.”

NAHC also recommends modifying the proposed rule to include standards on provider rate setting. “Experience to date indicates a high risk that MLTSS plans will set payment rates at below cost levels thereby triggering risks that care access or quality could be compromised,” NAHC stated in the letter. Standards to prevent such an outcome should include requirements that an MLTSS plan determine the reasonable cost for the delivery of care and the fair market value for services in the relevant geographic area. The plan should also report to the state Medicaid program at least 3 months prior to the effective date if there is any reduction in provider payment rates. In addition, the state should establish a rate review process that allows providers to submit evidence of cost and fair market value, and that permits the state to deny a MLTSS plan’s proposed reduction in payment rates.

Other NAHC recommendations include:

  • Expand the enrollment period for MLTSS beneficiaries from a 14-day period to a period of 30 days at minimum, preferably 60 days.
  • Expand transition policy requirements in order to minimize any disruption in care for the MLTSS beneficiary. Separate sets of requirements should address each type of transition involving MLTSS, including transitions between fee-for-service to managed care, transitions from one managed care plan to another, and provider changes to network modifications.
  • Establish requirements to ensure that each network provides the MLTSS beneficiary with timely access to care and reasonable levels of choice, including a minimum number of providers, state audits to ensure access to care, and access to out-of-network services without added cost if the MLTSS plan is unable to provide timely access to network services.
  • Modify stakeholder engagement to require the inclusion of each type or model of MLTSS provider.
  • Modify appeals process to allow providers or services to represent MLTSS beneficiaries or have direct appeal rights. Include an anti-retribution provision to protect the provider from any negative reaction from the MLTSS plan in the event of appeal.

Click here to read the full letter from NAHC providing comments on the proposed rule. For more information about the proposed rule on the CMS website, click here.




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