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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

Overtime Lawsuit: Supreme Court Update

January 8, 2016 08:33 AM

Crucial support has emerged in the efforts to invalidate the new Department of Labor (DoL) rules that trigger overtime pay obligations for home care aide services. An “amicus curiae” brief has been filed by a collaborative of states along with a second brief submitted by two national disability rights organizations urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the lawsuit brought by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and other home care associations challenging the validity of the new DoL rules affecting the “companionship services” and “live-in domestic services” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These supporting briefs are important in that the Supreme Court decides to hear cases on the basis of whether the issues presented have significant public importance.

The state brief explains that the new rules have great impact on the public health program, Medicaid, and the states that fund that program. The brief from the disability rights groups focuses on the negative impact on persons with disabilities caused by the rules that increase care costs, but do not require increased funding support.

The Attorney Generals from Kansas, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming joined together. Their brief argues that the new rules impose “a new and unforeseen unfunded liability on the States.” Further, the brief states that “the new rule both vastly expands the States’ financial liability for such programs and necessarily undermines their sovereignty without any statement—much less a ‘clear statement’—of congressional intent to impose such a result.”

These Attorneys General explain that,

The Department’s new position will in fact harm many of the very people Congress intended to assist—the aged and infirm who can remain in their homes with support services (rather than being institutionalized). In Kansas alone, almost 25,000 individuals rely upon a Medicaid-funded program to provide the care they need to live independently. The new rule, however, may result in vastly increased expenses for Kansas and other Amici States, expenses that likely can be covered only by reducing the number of people the programs serve.   

The National Center for Independent Living (NCIL) and ADAPT forcefully express the views of the disability community in asking the Court to hear the appeal and invalidate the DoL rules. Their central concern lies with the expectation that caregiver work hours will be restricted to avoid overtime costs given that state Medicaid programs have not and will not increase payment rates to cover the added costs. Restricted working hours for individual caregivers means access to care barriers for persons with disabilities.

The NCIL and ADAPT brief states:

The Rule, therefore, requires disabled people to find additional attendants, while at the same time limiting the amount of work attendants can perform and driving attendants out of the market. Without additional attendants, many disabled people will be forced to receive services in institutional settings which they would not have otherwise chosen, in violation of their rights. The Rule will have the effect of making home and community based services, and with them, the rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom more difficult, if not impossible, to achieve, and therefore, an option, not a right.

A review of the appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court is discretionary. The Court accepts few cases each year and does so only with cases that show great public importance or a conflict in rulings from federal Courts of Appeal. While NAHC and its co-plaintiffs have presented the importance of the case from the perspective of providers of home care, the “friend of the court” briefs add different perspectives—the consumers of care and the funding sources—to amplify the importance of the case.

NAHC is awaiting the reply brief that is expected from DoL. It is due on February 24, 2016. At that point, NAHC will have the opportunity to respond. Thereafter, the Court will decide if it is going to hear the case, a decision that is usually made within 60 days.




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