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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

Task Force on Medicaid Launched By House Energy & Commerce Committee Republicans

November 18, 2015 12:31 PM

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton recently announced the establishment of a Medicaid Task Force consisting of Republican members with the stated goal of examining and developing changes to the Medicaid program. While the Task Force has not yet announced or endorsed specific legislative proposals, the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health has considered several Medicaid proposals as of late which might provide some indication of the proposals under consideration by the Task Force.

Most recently, the Subcommittee approved several Medicaid-related bills (see previous NAHC Report article here), including one requiring states to use electronic visit verification (EVV) for Medicaid personal care services (H.R. 2446). The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) this week met with the majority staff of the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health, including staff representing Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) who is the Chairman of the Medicaid Task Force and the sponsor of H.R. 2446, to discuss potential improvements to the legislation. NAHC favors program integrity, but expressed concerns about the legislation’s current approach as it may affect provider costs and multi-state organizations. NAHC is working with the Committee to provide recommendations to improve the draft legislation as well as information of interest to the Committee about the use of EVV among personal care providers.

In addition, Chairman Upton favors a Medicaid “per capita cap” limiting Medicaid funding per beneficiary. In its 2015 Legislative Blueprint for Action, NAHC opposed per capita caps. “Proposals for per beneficiary caps or full program federal spending caps such as block grants should be rejected by Congress,” NAHC stated. “Many states have begun efforts to expand home and community-based alternatives to institutionalization in their Medicaid programs. The federal government, through such programs as the New Freedom Initiative, has sought to facilitate this development. Medicaid is one of the biggest items in state budgets, so it will certainly be a focus of state efforts to save money. States are required to balance their budgets, so federal assistance is essential to preserve and expand home and community-based care within the Medicaid program.”

A recent analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities similarly stated that “a per capita cap would shift large costs to states and almost certainly lead over time to substantial cuts affecting low-income beneficiaries and health care providers. It also would likely discourage states from taking up health reform’s Medicaid expansion and could cause some states to abandon the expansion.”

Democrats serving on the Energy & Commerce Committee have expressed criticism of the Task Force based on the fact that only Republicans have been invited to participate. “If this is a serious and productive effort, then members from both sides of the aisle should have been included,” a spokeswoman for the Committee Democrats recently stated. “This is nothing more than another attempt by Republicans to undermine and dismantle the Medicaid program, which 72 million Americans currently depend on for health care.”

Following are the members serving on the Medicaid Task Force:

  • Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) (Chairman)
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
  • Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN)
  • Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
  • Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX)
  • Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY)
  • Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX)
  • Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK)

NAHC Reportwill continue to provide updates regarding future legislative efforts on Medicaid relevant to the home care and hospice community. 




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