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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

Update on Legislative Efforts to Reform the Home Health Face-to-Face Documentation Requirement

October 8, 2015 11:10 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) continues its efforts to advance legislation in the United States Congress to reform the Medicare home health face-to-face documentation requirement. Champions in both the U.S. House and Senate are pursuing bicameral, bipartisan legislation that reforms the face-to-face documentation requirement so as to address the burdensome paperwork requirements and the problems that have resulted for Medicare providers and beneficiaries. Most recently, Congress Greg Walden (R-OR) announced draft legislation, which was the subject of a hearing before the Energy & Commerce Committee on October 1 (see previous NAHC Report article here), and earlier this year, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced legislation, on which they continue working to modify and improve (see previous NAHC Report article here).

In support of advancing a legislative remedy in Congress, NAHC continues to work with Congressman Walden and Senators Menendez and Roberts to refine their bills so that the bills adequately address the paperwork burdens and the problems that have resulted, including wrongfully denied claims. The lawmakers intend to coordinate their legislative efforts in order to ensure they are bicameral, as well as bipartisan. The Senate bill already has bipartisan cosponsors in Senators Menendez and Roberts, and Congressman Walden has reached out to several colleagues on the House Energy & Commerce and Ways and Means Committees to enlist bipartisan original cosponsors.

NAHC has stated that full-scale reform should:

  • Limit the physician documentation requirement to demonstrating that a timely encounter occurred, consistent with the original intent;
  • Narrow the circumstances where a face-to-face encounter is required by excluding patients transferred from a hospital or skilled nursing facility where physician encounters are virtually guaranteed;
  • Address the thousands of past claim denials by requiring the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to either reach a settlement with affected home health agencies or reopen and pay those claims denied related to the physician narrative;
  • Provide an exception in areas where physicians are scarce;
  • Permit a waiver in a case-specific situation where a face-to-face encounter is not feasible; and
  • Permit face-to-face encounters by way of an expanded telehealth definition as the standard in the current law is useless as a patient must leave her home to have a telehealth visit with a physician.

Once the F2F reform is submitted as a bill, NAHC will issue a member alert, calling on all to help gain as many cosponsors as possible. That effort will hopefully lead to the inclusion of the bill on a “must pass” measure. We will need quick action and a high rate of success in gaining cosponsors in order to achieve that goal before the end of the year.

In addition to seeking a legislative remedy, NAHC continues its legal challenge to the claim denials resulting from the Medicare home health services physician face-to-face narrative requirement. A decision on its lawsuit challenging the validity of the physician narrative requirement is likely any day from the federal court in Washington. You can read more about NAHC’s lawsuit here.




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