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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

CMS Issues Clarifications, Corrections to Freestanding Hospice Cost Report Forms and Instructions

August 6, 2015 05:04 PM

Effective for cost reporting years starting on or after October 1, 2014, freestanding hospices are required to file the revised hospice cost report Form CMS-1984-14.  The new freestanding hospice cost report significantly expands data collection requirements to supply greater detail related to hospice costs by level of care; data from the modified report may be used in future payment reform analyses by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  Form CMS-1984-14 underwent a lengthy review and comment process and was made publicly available in late August 2014. CMS has continued to receive recommendations to modify CMS-1984-14 to promote greater clarity and accuracy of the documents.

CMS recently issued Transmittal 2:  New Cost Reporting Forms and Instructions -- Effective Date:  Hospice Cost Report changes effective for cost reporting periods beginning on or after October 1, 2014  (dated July 31, 2015) to its website; the transmittal makes clarifying and correcting revisions to the freestanding hospice cost reporting forms and instructions as follow:

  • Worksheet A: Shaded column 1 of line 70.
  • Worksheet A-6: Modified form and instructions to separate reclassifications between salaries and other costs.
  • Worksheets B and B-1: Removed shading from column 7 of line 17 for both Worksheet B and B-1. Modified column labels on Worksheet B-1.

ELECTRONIC SPECIFICATIONS EFFECTIVE DATE:The electronic reporting specifications are effective for cost reporting periods beginning on or after October 1, 2014. For automated cost report software purposes transmittals 1 and 2 will be merged and implemented simultaneously.

Ted Cuppett of The Health Group provided the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) with an explanation and analysis of the changes to Form CMS-1984-14 represented in Transmittal 2; his comments are as follow:

Transmittal 2 provide two (2) technical corrections to the Hospice Cost & Data Report as previously issued and makes one distinctive reporting change as follows:

  1. CMS has eliminated the potential of assigning any salary costs to the “Nursing Facility Room & Board” cost center (Line 70 of Worksheet A).  This is an appropriate technical correction as payments to nursing facilities in the form of room and board payments do not include any salaries and wages paid to hospice personnel.
  2. CMS is allowing input (housekeeping statistics and cost) on line 17 of Worksheet B and B-1.  This allows for housekeeping costs to be allocated to “Patient Residential Care Services” (Line 17), which is then allocated to all inpatient and residential units on the basis of in-facility days.  The original cost report did not appropriately allow for the allocation of housekeeping costs.
  3. Worksheet A-6 has been modified to require the reclassification of costs as salaries and wages or other costs.  [T]his correction [is beneficial] inasmuch as it [supports] tracking the ultimate reporting of salary and wage costs.  Salary and wage costs are used later in the cost report for purposes of allocating employee benefit and employee benefit department costs.

The changes identified above were included in changes to the “electronic reporting specifications.” Other technical corrections were also made to enhance electronic cost reporting edits.

Special thanks to Ted Cuppett and The Health Group for this analysis.




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