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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

Bipartisan Policy Center Recommends Expanding Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services to Improve Long-Term Care

Recommendations seek to eliminate “Medicaid’s bias for institutional or facility-based care”
February 4, 2016 10:11 AM

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Long-Term Care Initiative has released a new report titled “Initial Recommendations to Improve the Financing of Long-Term Care,” which contains recommendations to provide states with more flexibility to offer home- and community based services under Medicaid. The report also recommends the establishment of a federal insurance program for catastrophic long-term care, as well as a more affordable option for private long-term care insurance.

BPC is a think tank led by four bipartisan former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders – Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell. The report was developed by the co-chairs of BPC’s Long-Term Care Initiative, former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, former Secretary of Health and Human Services and Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, and former Congressional Budget Office Director Dr. Alice Rivlin.The consensus by BPC on these recommendations is noteworthy because it demonstrates growing bipartisan support for promoting the increased use of HCBS under Medicaid as a means of improving long-term care.

In a press release, the initiative co-chairs said the report was intended as a “first set of recommendations” to improve long-term care. “Our proposal includes policies that encourage states to expand care in the home,” said Secretary and Governor Tommy Thompson.

“Today families and caregivers are becoming impoverished by the financial demands of long-term care,” said Senator Tom Daschle. “Since there is no single, comprehensive solution to solve this unsustainable situation, our strategy calls for a combination of actions that could help ease the extraordinary financial burdens Americans are facing. We agree that private insurance and state programs can’t meet the needs of those with significant long-term care costs. Therefore, we are committed to pursuing strategies toward creating a public catastrophic program.”

Among the proposals contained in the report are the following:

Provide state incentives and streamline Medicaid waivers for HCBS. The report recommends streamlining and consolidating “existing waiver authority into a single state plan amendment (SPA) in order assist states seeking to expand the availability of HCBS. “Combining features of existing SPAs would permit states to offer HCBS in a way that moves toward eliminating Medicaid’s bias for institutional or facility-based care, give states the flexibility and predictability they need to expand services to best address the needs of varying populations, and maintain essential provisions of federal law that allow individuals to direct their own care. Specifically, the streamlined SPA would draw from features in existing law — sections 1915(i), (j), and (k) of the Social Security Act — to combine the best features of each option.” It also recommends incentives through an increased match for states to improve their eligibility and enrollment functions.

Develop a federal catastrophic long-term care program. The report recommends pursuing “a public insurance approach for catastrophic long-term costs that does not increase the deficit and protects Americans from ruinous out-of-pocket costs.”

Make private long-term care insurance more accessible and affordable “by designing a new benefit structure and giving Americans the opportunity to purchase coverage using retirement savings through their employers or state and federal insurance marketplaces. Provide incentives for employers to enroll in insurance with an employee opt-out.”

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) supports improving long-term care through a greater focus on HCBS. In its Legislative Blueprint for Action, NAHC recommended Congress require mandatory coverage of comprehensive home care, hospice, and personal care services and home care medical supplies to all populations receiving Medicaid coverage. These services should include all therapies and medical social work services. All home and community-based care services should be mandatory benefits, including those offered under current optional programs and through waiver authority. With regards to long-term care insurance, NAHC recommended that all long-term care insurance policies should be required to meet the most up-to-date federal minimum standards, which should include a requirement that all long-term care policies cover a full range of home care and hospice services.

To view the full report by BPC, click here.

 

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