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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 Implementation of Home Health Value Based Purchasing Program

November 17, 2015 09:24 AM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is moving along quickly with the January 1, 2016, implementation of the Home Health Value Based Purchasing Program (HHVBP) as outlined in the Final Rule issued as part of the 2016 Home Health Prospective Payment rule. Recently, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) met with CMS officials to discuss a multitude of open implementation issues. Home health agencies in the nine states are anxiously awaiting more detailed information on the pilot program that promises to be the most significant Medicare change since the 2000 implementation of prospective payment.

At this point, there are threshold questions yet unanswered by CMS while the HHVBP is only seven short weeks away. Among the crucial questions in need of response is what home health population data will be used to determine an agency’s baseline performance and performance year score. In the CMS meeting, the question was raised as to whether the OASIS and HHCAPS data from the Medicare Fee-for-Service population would be used in HHVBP or whether the data from Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and other patients would be included. Currently, Home Health Compare and the Star Rating systems use all such data. The Final Rule indicates that the data from Medicare “enrollees” would be used. Officials at the meeting indicated that it is most likely that the HHVBP data will be confined to Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. However, that standard appeared far from certain, particularly given CMS’ current combination of all data in its public reporting on HHAs.

Another important issue is when the affected agencies will receive the “achievement threshold” and “benchmark” information that is essential for providers to understand what the performance targets are relative to the myriad of measures in play in HHVBP. Until such information is known, providers cannot determine how their performance compares to those measures and which areas need the most improvement effort in order to gain a financial bonus in HHVBP or avoid a penalty. CMS officials indicate that such information will be available no earlier than April 2016 as it will take time to process the 2015 baseline data that covers all of 2015.

CMS officials indicated that they would be providing responses to all questions through their HHVBP website so that all participants have access to the information. Questions can be submitted to CMS through In addition, CMS has asked that NAHC remind HHAs in the affected nine states to email their primary point of contact along with CCN to  so that CMS can register them for the December 2, 2015, webinar and establish access to the HHVBP web portal that will be used to see their performance reports and enter New Measures.




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