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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

ONC Releases Practical Examples of Permitted Health Information Exchange under HIPPA

February 24, 2016 12:46 PM

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released two fact sheets summarizing permitted electronic health information exchange for treatment and health care operations.

In addition as a follow-up to the release of the fact sheets, ONC released the following brief, which provides practical examples of exchange for treatment and health care operations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act  (HIPAA).

Example 1: Care Coordination – 45 CFR 164.506(c)(2)

A hospital is preparing to discharge a patient who will need ongoing, facility-based care. The inpatient facility needs to identify a rehabilitation facility to accept the patient. Prospective facilities will need Protected Health Information (PHI) about the patient to determine whether they can provide the right care.

The current hospital may disclose the relevant PHI to prospective facilities without first obtaining the patient’s written authorization. The disclosing hospital may use Certified EHR Technology, so long as the disclosure is done in a manner that meets the HIPAA Security Rule.

This disclosure is a treatment disclosure (in anticipation of future treatment of the patient by the rehabilitation facility) and thus, may be carried out under 45 CFR 164.506(c)(2).

A common question arises in this scenario: because the PHI came from the inpatient facility, will the inpatient facility be held responsible under HIPAA for what the rehabilitation facilities do with the PHI once they have received it in a permissible way under HIPAA? For example, what one of the rehabilitation facilities experiences a breach of the PHI?

Under HIPAA, the inpatient facility is responsible only for complying with HIPAA in disclosing the PHI to the rehabilitation facility in a permitted and secure manner. This includes sending the PHI securely and taking reasonable steps to send it to the right address. After the rehabilitation facility has received the PHI in accordance with HIPAA, the rehabilitation facility, as a covered entity itself, is responsible for safeguarding the PHI and otherwise complying with HIPAA, including with respect to any breaches that occur. The responsibility of the sending provider was to send it securely to the right address; the sending provider is not responsible for its security once received by another covered entity or the recipient covered entity’s business associate (BA).

Example 2: Care Planning By a Provider – 45 CFR 164.506(c)(1) and (c)(2)

A provider wants to ensure that her patients have a comprehensive care plan after they are discharged from the hospital. The provider hires a care planning company (i.e., its BA) to develop these plans for her patients.

To develop the plan, the care planning company requests pertinent PHI about each patient from the patients’ other providers, such as the hospitals to which the patients have been admitted for the same or similar medical care and the patients’ health plans. Each of these covered entities may disclose the relevant PHI for care planning purposes using Certified EHR Technology. Disclosure of electronic PHI by such technology or other electronic method requires HIPAA Security Rule compliance.

Note: In this scenario, a business associate agreement (BAA) is only required between the covered entity that hires the care planning company and that company. The covered entities who permissibly disclose PHI in this scenario may do so directly to the provider’s care planning company for the provider’s care planning purposes (without the need to execute their own BAA) just as they could share this information directly with the provider. Electronic PHI disclosed in this scenario, for example using Certified EHR Technology, must be disclosed consistent with the HIPAA Security Rule.

Under HIPAA, the patients’ other providers and health plans, which have sent PHI to the initial treating provider’s BA, are not responsible for what the BA does with the PHI once it has been sent to the BA for permissible reasons and in a secure manner.

Example 3: Case Management by a Payer – 45 CFR 164.506(c)(1) and (c)(4)

A health plan hires a health care management company to provide semi-monthly nutritional advice and coaching to their diabetic and pre-diabetic members. The care management company is a BA of the health plan. In order to provide appropriate nutritional advice and coaching, the health care management company needs additional information about these individuals to ensure the advice is consistent with the treatment they receive from their providers.

The health care management company may query the relevant providers to obtain information that could impact the nutritional advice. Providers may respond to the query using Certified EHR Technology and may disclose PHI necessary for the case management purpose for which the nutritional coach was hired by the health plan. Disclosure of electronic PHI by Certified EHR Technology or other method requires HIPAA Security Rule compliance.

In this scenario, the disclosures by the providers to the nutritional coach are for the Health Care Operations (“population-based activities relating to improving health or reducing costs” and “case management”) of the health plan, and therefore are Permissible Disclosures under HIPAA.

Note: In this scenario, a BAA is only required between the health plan covered entity and the health care management company it hired. The providers may make permissible disclosures of PHI to that company without a BAA between the discloser and that company.

As in the prior scenarios, the providers sharing PHI with the health care management company hired by the health plan are not responsible under HIPAA for what that company or the health plan subsequently does with the information once it has been sent for a permissible reason and in a secure manner.

ONC’s full post is available here.




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