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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

CBO Projections Released for Medicare and Medicaid Spending Over Coming Decade

Congressional Committee Chairmen Call for Measures to Reduce Spending on Health Programs
February 1, 2016 03:28 PM

On Monday, January 25, 2016, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2015 to 2025” which estimates federal spending and revenues, as well as the deficit and federal debt, over the coming decade. CBO projected that spending on major health care programs would exceed spending on Social Security and would nearly double over the period of 2015 to 2025. 

“Federal outlays for major health care programs—including Medicare, Medicaid, subsidies for health insurance purchased through exchanges and related spending, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—are projected to increase more rapidly than outlays for Social Security, growing from 5.1 percent of GDP (net of premium payments and other offsetting receipts for Medicare) in 2015 to 6.2 percent in 2025,” CBO stated in the report. “In CBO’s baseline projections, that spending grows robustly—at an average rate of nearly 7 percent per year—and thus nearly doubles between 2015 and 2025, reaching $1.9 trillion, or 6.8 percent of GDP, by the end of that period.”

In response to CBO’s projections, two committee chairmen in U.S. Congress—House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN)—called for spending reductions and reforms to health care programs. Among the measures Chairman Brady called for was the Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act (H.R. 3298), which would establish a single value-based purchasing program (VBP) for all post-acute care (PAC) services.

“CBO has once again confirmed what we all know: Medicare as we know it is unsustainable and we need to act now to save it,” Chairman Brady said in a press release. The statement cited the intention for the Committee to move forward with H.R. 3298, as well as other “actions large and small to save Medicare for the long term and ensure our seniors can always access care.”

NAHC has already joined with other PAC providers to express concerns with the design of the VBP program, as well as the fact that the legislation does not adhere to the implementation timeline that was established under the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014, which has not yet been fully implemented (for more information, see previous NAHC Report article here).

Chairman Alexander called for a return to the measures that were included in the Simpson-Bowles proposal, which included negative proposals for home care and hospice and would have reduced health care spending by nearly $700 billion over 10 years. “Millions of Americans are counting the days until they are eligible for Medicare, and today’s Congressional Budget Office report tells us that in just 10 years Medicare won’t be able to help seniors pay all of their hospital bills,” Chairman Alexander said.

NAHC has expressed opposition to measures negatively affecting home care and hospice contained in the Simpson-Bowles proposal, including those to add copays or other out-of-pocket expenses for home care and hospice, reduce Medicare reimbursement rates for providers, and cut federal payments to Medicaid.

Given the current dynamics in Washington, action on any large structural bill to reform or reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending, such as the Simpson-Bowles proposal, is unlikely in the coming year. However, there is a serious enough potential for movement on relatively smaller proposals, such as H.R. 3298, to require close monitoring by the home care community. 

Stay tuned to NAHC Report for further coverage of any potential developments on these issues.




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