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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

Mileage Study Press Conference Highlights: Karen Thomas on the Importance of Telehealth Services

January 29, 2016 09:52 AM

On December 16, 2015, the Foundation for Hospice and Homecare and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) held a press conference (see previous NAHC Report article here) to present the findings of a study documenting that nurses, therapists and home care aides who serve chronically ill, elderly and disabled patients drive nearly 8 billion miles each year. The press conference included remarks from a number of experts in the home care and hospice community, and NAHC Report is publishing a series of articles providing in-depth coverage of their remarks.

Karen Thomas is the President of Oxford HealthCare in Springfield, Missouri. NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris introduced Ms. Thomas, saying she would discuss “the importance of telehealth and other technologies,” as well as the challenges presented by the fact that agencies are not reimbursed by Medicare for telehealth.

Ms. Thomas explained that telehealth is becoming increasingly important as more and more people are receiving care outside of “the traditional walls” of the hospital and skilled nursing facilities. Instead, patients are receiving care in their homes, “where they want to be,” and where they can receive care that is “less expensive” and “very effective.”

With the challenges of an aging population, along with a shortage of nurses to care for them, one of the ways to provide needed care is through telehealth. “Remote patient monitoring,” she said, “is the service of providing a device in the home which enables us to gather all the biometric readings. It enables for questions regarding symptoms to be answered… and allows us to care for that person and understand what’s going on with that patient.”

Telehealth also allows agencies to better care for patients with chronic illnesses. For example, she said, agencies can use telehealth to care for patients with diabetes by “monitoring their glucose on a daily basis, sometimes up to four times a day, and educating that person how to care for themselves, what they can do differently, and why they’re having issues.” Telehealth “allows us to coordinate the care for all of the providers and we’re able to provide information to any primary care physician they might have, a nurse practitioner and any specialist.” She added, “We have the tools and equipment to care for people who are chronically ill and reduce the need for acute care, which is much more expensive.”

Telehealth also allows agencies to develop meaningful and effective connections with patients. “There is a great touch. Even though it’s technology, we’re still touching that patient,” she said. “We are utilizing our nurses to their greatest extent, sending them to the home when we need them. We’re able to care for more patients by gathering that data, effectively watching what’s going on, and educating that patient because, always remember, the patients need to be involved, and by them understanding what they need to do, it helps us take care of them.”

At the same time, Ms. Thomas explained that the lack of Medicare reimbursement for telehealth is problematic. “As Val mentioned, at this point, agencies are not reimbursed for any of the hardware equipment they need to purchase, the software that goes along with it, whether that’s video or non-video,” she said.  “That’s one thing we would like to see changed as we go forward so we can deal proactively with [these challenges].”

To view the final study, click here.

Video footage of the press conference is currently available on the NAHC website (www.nahc.org).

 

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