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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 Holds IMPACT Act National Provider Call

October 23, 2015 03:51 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held a National Provider Call to inform stakeholder of its progress and plans related to the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act.

The IMPACT Act was signed into law in October 2014. The Act requires CMS to develop standardized assessment data and quality measures across the post acute care (PAC) settings that include inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), long term care hospitals (LTCHs) and home health agencies (HHA). 

The act specifies both the domains and time frames for which each PAC provider must begin to submit the cross setting quality measures. The quality measure domains include functional status, cognitive function, and changes in functional and cognitive function; skin integrity and changes in skin integrity; medication reconciliation; incident of major falls; and communicating the existence of and providing for the transfer of health information and care preferences.

Resource use and other measures such as total Medicare spending per beneficiary, discharge to community, and potentially preventable hospital readmission rates are also part of the quality measures required by the IMPACT Act.

SNFs, IRFs, and LTCHs, must begin reporting select quality measures as early as October 1, 2016. HHAs must begin reporting measures related to changes in skin integrity, medication reconciliation and resource use beginning January 1, 2017.

CMS has been working to meet the deadlines for measure development. The following three measures have already been finalized for SNF, IRF and LTCH, and the measure for new or worsened pressure ulcers has been proposed for home health agencies in the 2016 home health prospective payment system rate update. 

  • Percent of Residents/Patients/Persons with Pressure Ulcers That Are New  or Worsened
  • Percent of Patients/Residents/Persons With an Admission and Discharge      
  • Functional Assessment and a Care Plan that Addresses Function
  • Percent of Residents/Patients/Persons Experiencing One or More Falls with Major Injury

The act also requires CMS to develop standardized assessment data that address functional status; cognitive function and mental status; special services, treatments, and interventions; medical conditions and co-morbidities; impairments; and any other categories required by the Secretary.

In addition, to the specified assessment data categories, CMS must incorporate the standardized assessment data into the existing assessment tools currently used by each PAC provider. The Act outlines specified timeframes for which the data must be submitted by each of the PAC providers. For HHAs, the assessment data must be submitted beginning January 1, 2019.  SNF, IRF, and LTCH must submit the assessment data not later than October 1, 2018.

CMS includes in the presentation the process for measure consideration and approval, along with several resource links to the CMS and National Quality Forum web sites. PAC stakeholders can keep abreast of the events surrounding implementing this very ambitious and complex project. In addition, CMS has a tentative schedule for upcoming provider outreach sessions such as special Open Door Forum calls.

NAHC encourages home health agencies to take advantage of the outreach opportunities in order to stay informed and engaged in activities towards implementing the IMPACT act. The quality measures and the assessment data developed as required by the IMPACT Act will have effects on home health agencies well into the future.




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