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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

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

Health 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

NAHC Meets with Senate Finance Committee Chronic Care Working Group to Discuss Recommendations

September 25, 2015 11:07 AM



The Senate Finance Committee invited the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) to meet with staff on Wednesday, September 23, to discuss recommendations NAHC submitted to the Committee’s chronic care working group earlier this year. In June 2015, the Senate Finance Committee announced the creation of a bipartisan chronic care working group, which is led by Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) (see previous NAHC Report article here). The working group is seeking recommendations from health care stakeholders in order to assess current law and develop policy and legislative proposals to improve chronic care. NAHC has submitted recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee chronic care working group on better integrating home health and hospice to achieve superior outcomes in chronic care management.

Summary of NAHC’s Recommendations

NAHC’s recommendations were included in a letter to the Committee from NAHC Board Chairman Denise Schrader and President Val J. Halamandaris. “With chronic disease now accounting for almost 93 percent of Medicare spending, we agree that the impact of chronic disease on the Medicare program and those it serves is staggering and must be addressed with better chronic disease management,” NAHC stated in the letter. In order to improve chronic care services, NAHC recommended a “broad and appropriate” role for home health services that encompasses not only post-acute care but also pre-acute care.

NAHC provided specific proposals to achieve evidence-based reform, including a Home-based Chronic Care Management Model. This patient-centered model is a partnership between home health agencies and patient-centered medical homes, in which the home health agency shares responsibility for patient outcomes with the primary care provider. The model has successfully reduced hospitalizations and increased patient satisfaction across the country. For example, Sutter Health in California using the model achieved a 50 percent reduction in hospitalizations and saved Medicare $118 million over a three year period. NAHC also recommended that the Committee: 1) monitor innovative programs being tested, including the Independence at Home Demonstration and the Community-based Care Transitions Program; and 2) improve care coordination for chronically ill patients as outlined in the Fostering Independence Through Technology Act of 2013 and the modernization of the Medicare home health benefit through the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 578), which would permit nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants to certify Medicare home health plans of care.

In addition, NAHC recommended that the Committee integrate hospice care into its analysis. Hospice care provides a “highly valuable option” that those dealing with chronic illness should be able to consider. Specifically, NAHC endorsed the Care Planning Act of 2015 (S. 1549), which is sponsored and cosponsored by Chronic Care Working Group co-chairs Senators Warner and Isakson.

In making its recommendations, NAHC explained how home health and hospice can help the working group achieve its stated goals: 1) increase care coordination among individual providers across care settings who are treating patients living with chronic diseases; 2) streamline Medicare’s current payment systems to incentivize the appropriate level of care for patients living with chronic diseases; and 3) facilitate the delivery of high quality care, improve care transitions, produce stronger patient outcomes, increase program efficiency, and contribute to an overall effort that will reduce the growth in Medicare spending.

NAHC will continue to provide updates on the actions of the Senate Finance Committee’s chronic care working group.

The full letter containing NAHC’s recommendations is available here.




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