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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

Medicare Part B Premiums for Some Beneficiaries Could Increase Without Congressional Action

NAHC Attends Press Conference Highlighting Need for Legislation to Prevent Steep Increase in Medicare Premiums; Opposes Home Health Copays or Payment Cuts to Offset Cost
October 14, 2015 09:36 AM

FullSizeRender225pxDemocratic lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), held a press conference last week to highlight the need for Congress to pass legislation by October 15 to prevent a steep increase in Medicare Part B premiums for certain beneficiaries. Premiums could increase by approximately 50 percent for more than 15 million individuals, or 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, starting next year. The 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries potentially affected would include individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, individuals with incomes over $85,000 annually, new enrollees, and those who do not receive Social Security.

Federal law protects 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries from any Medicare premium increase that exceeds the annual increase in an individual’s Social Security benefits, through what is known as a “hold harmless” provision. However, federal law does not provide the same protection to the 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries listed above. According to the Medicare trustees report released in July, the standard premium for affected beneficiaries would increase from $105 to $159 per month, and the annual deductible would rise from $147 to $223 in 2015. Medicare beneficiaries with incomes over $85,000 already pay more than the standard premium and would face even larger increases in their premiums.

In addition to the beneficiaries who would be affected, state Medicaid programs are concerned about the potential increase in premiums because they are responsible for paying the Medicare premiums of low-income individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Congressional inaction would effectively shift costs from the federal government to state Medicaid programs that are already facing budget challenges.

Minority Leader Pelosi said she has been working on a compromise with Speaker John Boehner, but that so far he has refused to act to prevent the increase in premiums. “For the past month, on a regular basis, we have been reaching out to Republicans to tell them the deadline is racing toward us,” Minority Leader Pelosi said at the press conference. “We thought we were close to a solution, but when that didn’t happen, we had to go public.”

Following the press conference, Speaker Boehner’s staff reportedly said that he is only considering legislation that fully offsets its cost, which is estimated to be as much as $7.5 billion. At this point, there is no announced agreement on how to offset that cost. 

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) attended the press conference, as Medicare Part B covers some home health services and the potential premium increase could affect certain Medicare home health beneficiaries. While NAHC supports a compromise to prevent the steep increase in Medicare premiums, NAHC opposes any offset that would impose home health copays or include payment rate cuts. Home health copays would be a “sick tax” on our most vulnerable seniors, and additional payment rate cuts on top of those that have already been implemented would directly impact access to care for Medicare home health beneficiaries. Contact your congressional delegation using NAHC’s Legislative Action Center (click here), and ask them to oppose any home health copays or payment cuts to offset the cost of this or any other legislation.




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