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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

Appeal Filed with Supreme Court on Overtime Lawsuit

November 23, 2015 01:49 PM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and its co-plaintiffs took their challenge to the validity of U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) rules impacting overtime compensation for certain home care employees to the U. S. Supreme Court late last week. A Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court was filed on November 19, challenging the DoL rules that significantly changed the “companionship services” and “live-in domestic services” exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provisions on minimum wages and overtime compensation.

The appeal comes just short of a year after the U.S. District Court issued its decision finding that the DoL exclusion of third-party employers (home care companies) from “availing themselves” of the exemptions violated the plain language of the FLSA. District Judge Leon found that the purpose of the exemptions is to help make home care affordable for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

On appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a three judge panel reversed the lower court’s decision, concluding that the Supreme Court previously foreclosed any argument as to whether the FLSA plain language required the inclusion of third-party employers. As of October 13, 2015, the challenged rules are in effect across the country.

Supreme Court review of the appeal is discretionary. Each year, the Court agrees to review only a small percentage of the cases submitted for consideration. NAHC believes that this case has increased chances for being accepted for review because the Supreme Court had previously recognized the importance of the public policy issue presented in the case when it chose to review a similar matter in 2005 and 2007 in a case brought by NAHC. In Long Island Care at Home v. Coke, the Supreme Court held that the “companionship services” exemption could apply to employees of third party employers. The Coke decision was the case relied upon by the Court of Appeals in its finding that Supreme Court foreclosed the argument that the plain language of the FLSA required the application of the exemption to all employees.

The most crucial part of any “cert petition” is the Questions Presented to the Supreme Court. In NAHC’s appeal, the questions are crafted to convince the Court that the case involves important public policy issues and that the appellate court ruling conflicts with the Supreme Court’s earlier decision on the FLSA exemption. The Petition sets out the Questions Presented as:  

“This case presents important questions left open by this Court’s opinion in Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke, 551 U.S. 120 (2007), which upheld the exemption of third-party home care employees from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Department of Labor has now issued a rule that for the first time denies third-party employers their right to “avail themselves” of the statutory home care exemptions, presenting the following questions of great public importance to millions of home care providers and elderly and disabled home care consumers:

  • Whether this Court intended in Coke to allow the Department to deprive all third-party home care employers (who employ more than 90% of all home care employees) of their statutory right to avail themselves of exemptions to overtime under the FLSA.
  • Whether the D.C. Circuit erred in finding that Congress intended to exclude employees of third party employers from the home care exemptions, thereby conflicting with Coke’s contrary reading of Congressional intent and creating a conflict in the circuits.
  • Whether the Department’s new rule should be found to be unreasonable due to the agency’s failure to meaningfully address the relevant factors of unaffordability and lack of adequate state funding of the increased costs of home health care under the new rule.”

Essentially, the bases argued to convince the Court to take review of the matter are that the appellate court misread the earlier Supreme Court decision, the issues presented have significant impact in today’s society, and that DoL has usurped the power of Congress in promulgating rules that gut the exemptions that have been in effect for 40 years. The full petition can be found here.

The process that will be followed in the appeal includes an opportunity for the Department of Labor to file an opposition to the Petition. That opposition is fully expected. NAHC and its co-plaintiffs will then have the opportunity to file a response to the opposition. In addition, it is expected that “amicus curiae” briefs will be filed by outside parties that support one side or the other in the case. A number of advocacy groups for persons with disabilities have already indicated that they will file a brief in support of the NAHC petition.

It can be anticipated that it will take 75-90 days for the petition phase of the case to occur. At that point, the Court will issue a decision either accepting the case for review of rejecting it. If it is accepted, a scheduling of argument on the merits is likely for March or April 2016 with a decision in late June before the Court closes the term.

As the matter progress, look to NAHC Report for comprehensive updates.

 

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