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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

Department of Veterans Affairs Proposal to Expand Private Health Care Arrangements

November 24, 2015 02:40 PM

On Wednesday, November 18, officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) testified before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and unveiled a new proposal to expand the use of private health care arrangements in order to improve VA's ability to keep up with the growing demand in care from veterans. VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson explained that VA is taking action to modernize the agency’s culture, processes, and capabilities. This includes a plan to consolidate community care programs and business processes, as well as consolidating all purchased care programs into one New Veterans Choice Program (New VCP).

Earlier this year, reports surfaced of veterans across the country facing delays and denials in services. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) received reports of VA denying authorizations and renewal authorizations of home health and other services due to funding shortages (see previous NAHC Report article here). VA stated that it faced a budget shortfall for the rest of the year and requested flexibility to expand the use of non-VA providers.

Last week, Gibson stated that the New VCP will clarify eligibility requirements, build on existing infrastructure to develop a high-performing network, streamline clinical and administrative processes, and implement a continuum of care coordination services. “Consolidation will improve access and make the process easier for veterans to use,” Gibson said. “Veterans will have better access to the best care outside VA, providers will be encouraged to participate and to provide higher-quality care, and VA employees will be able to serve both better, while also being good stewards of taxpayer funds.”

The New VCP would require Congressional approval of the requested legislative changes and funding. VA estimates the cost to redesign the system ranges from $1.2 billion to $2.4 billion for the first three years.

House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) stated that as the veteran population continues to grow in both age and number and as the health care landscape continues to shift, the need for non-VA providers to supplement the care that VA provides in-house will only continue to grow. However, he stated that the success of VA’s Care in the Community program is hampered by inconsistent and competing eligibility requirements, business processes, and reimbursement rates across the seven methods that VA currently uses to refer veterans to outside providers. Miller explained that the proposal VA submitted in late October to accomplish non-VA care consolidation and take the first steps toward building the VA healthcare system to its full potential “offers a promising but still poorly defined vision of a future ideal state of VA care that offers little in the way of concrete details, timelines, or goalposts.”

The Committee members pressed the VA witnesses on what actions they are able to take without legislation. VA officials responded that the agency is presently working to effect near-term changes, called “quick hits,” without legislation; for example, moving towards implementing a standard template agreement between the VA and all community providers.

For more information about the hearing and the witnesses, please click here. NAHC Report will continue to provide updates regarding the status of the new VA proposal.




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