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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

Senior Groups Comment on President’s FY2017 Budget

Express Concerns about Proposed Medicare Cuts, Home Health Copay
March 8, 2016 10:33 AM

In a letter dated March 1, 2016, the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) sent comments to Congress on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget proposal. LCAO expressed concerns about proposals in the President’s FY2017 budget to create a home health copay and cut Medicare by over $400 billion over 10 years. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) analyzed the proposals in the President’s FY2017 budget affecting home care and hospice in previous NAHC Reportcoverage available here and here.

NAHC is a member of LCAO, a 72-member coalition of the nation’s non-profit organizations serving older Americans. LCAO is dedicated to preserving and strengthening the well-being of America’s older population and provides a voice for seniors and their families in the ongoing debate on aging policy.

“Compared with the 46 million seniors today, by 2030, 70 million people – 1 in 5 Americans – will be 65 or older. Many older Americans face economic and health challenges,” LCAO stated in its comments. “Currently, nearly 90 percent of seniors have at least one chronic condition, 4.2 million adults over the age of 65 live in poverty and nearly one in six seniors struggle with hunger. Decades of stagnant wages and the erosion of employer-sponsored retirement benefits and savings are grinding away at the economic security of millions of seniors. Given these demographic and economic realities, we urge you to ensure that the FY 2017 congressional budget resolution strengthens the financial and health security of older adults and to reject proposals that would increase costs or reduce benefits and services for current and future generations of older Americans.”

Following are comments included in the LCAO letter regarding some of the issues in the President’s FY2017 budget affecting NAHC members.

Implementing a Co-Payment for Home-Health Care

Starting in 2020, this proposal would create a home health co-payment of $100 per 60-day home health episode, applicable for episodes with five or more visits not preceded by a hospital or other inpatient post-acute care stay. We oppose this proposal. It will create a barrier to home-and-community based services, encourage hospitalization and decrease home care for people with long-term and chronic conditions. Further, the cost-savings are minimal.

Various Payment Proposals

While LCAO supports paying providers accurately for high-quality services, LCAO is concerned about how access to care might be negatively impacted by several proposals aimed at delivery system and payment reforms. One proposal focuses on Value-Based Purchasing for home health agencies and other providers. LCAO stated that Value-Based Purchasing demonstrations “did not find improved quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries or reduced Medicare costs.”

Medicare Cuts

The FY 2017 Budget includes a number of Medicare legislative proposals that would reduce net Medicare spending by $419.4 billion over 10 years. Unfortunately, approximately $56.4 billion of the total would be saved by implementing “structural reforms” that would shift additional costs directly onto Medicare beneficiaries. LCAO continues to oppose these proposals. It is significant to note that in 2014, half of all people with Medicare lived on incomes less than $24,150 per year – just above 200% of the federal poverty level, and one quarter of Medicare beneficiaries had annual incomes at or below $14,350.

The LCAO letter expressed support for Medicaid proposals in the budget to expand and improve home- and community-based care.

The full LCAO letter is available here.




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