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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

Hospice Reminder! Are You Ready to Calculate and Report Your Aggregate Cap?

Submission Deadline is March 31
February 5, 2016 03:23 PM

Beginning with the 2014 Cap year, hospices are required to annually calculate and report their estimated aggregate Cap to their Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) no earlier than three months after and no later than five months following the end of the hospice Cap year (the 2015 year closed on October 31, 2015). The latest a hospice may file its self-calculated aggregate Cap calculation for the 2015 Cap year is March 31, 2016. Failure to file the Cap calculation on a timely basis and address any Cap-related liability will result in payment suspension.

Early in 2015 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began a systems change that moved access to the Provider Statistical & Reimbursement Report (PS&R) from the IACS system to the EIDM system. Difficulties with the transition created challenges for some hospice providers related to securing their PS&R data to calculate their estimated aggregate Cap for the 2014 Cap year.  That transition was completed during the summer of 2015, and all hospice providers should ensure that they are registered in the EIDM system and that their account is active so that they may access their PS&R data to calculate their estimated 2015 aggregate Cap. A link to a CMS web page providing guidance on EIDM password reset and account registration is available here. For hospices whose accounts in EIDM are active, you may login here.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has been in contact with some of the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and has learned that the MACs do not anticipate a change in the manner in which hospices are required to calculate the aggregate Cap over the process that was used last year. Hospices should bear in mind that their calculation of their estimated aggregate Cap will NOT include the impact of the sequester. When the MACs finalize the 2015 aggregate Cap determinations later this year, their calculations will include the sequester. Those hospices whose estimated Cap calculations put them over the Cap, or whose estimates put them close to their allowable aggregate Cap should plan accordingly for a potential Cap liability linked to the final MAC determination later this year. The hospice aggregate Cap amount for the 2015 Cap year ending October 31, 2015, is $27,382.63.

Each of the MACs will post materials on their websites related to hospice aggregate Cap calculation requirements; hospices should follow their assigned MAC’s instructions -- particularly with respect to submission of the Cap calculation and any associated liability -- to ensure that their information is received timely.

Following are links to MAC-specific information that has been issued, along with any items of particular note:


Hospice Cap (general information)

Instructions for Completing the Pro-Forma for Provider Self-Determination of Aggregate Cap Limitation

National GOVERNMENT Services (NGS) -- HOME PAGE

Hospice Cap: Self-Reporting InstructionsNGS provider: please note that separate submission instructions are available depending on whether you are under the J6 or JK jurisdiction -- please follow the instructions for your jurisdiction.

Palmetto GBA -- HOME PAGE

Self-Determined Hospice Cap for 2015




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