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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

House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee Members Comment on Incentivizing Home and Community-Based Services in Long-Term Care Financing and Delivery

March 9, 2016 11:53 AM

On March 1, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing titled “Examining the Financing and Delivery of Long-Term Care in the U.S.” A statement by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) was submitted for the hearing record recommending that Congress enact a comprehensive, high quality home- and community-based long-term care program (see previous NAHC Report article here).

During the hearing, Representatives discussed the existing problems with individuals facing gaps in long-term care coverage, and that those problems will only increase with the growing aging population. Several Representatives expressed a desire to address issues related to improving long-term care financing and delivery through incentives for the use of home- and community-based services rather than institutional care. Recommendations included simplifying the existing waivers to make it less burdensome for states to expand the availability of Medicaid home- and community-based services, as well as encouraging individuals to enroll in private long-term care insurance, establishing a federal catastrophic plan, and pursuing Medicaid integrity measures.

“Today we are facing a long-term care crisis that is forcing millions of Americans to drain all of their resources before they get any support from the federal government,” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6) said. “This crisis is not only affecting those who need long-term care but also their families, sons and daughters who have no other choice but to spend hours every week caring for their parents. This simply cannot continue, and I hope that today’s hearing is the beginning of an ongoing conversation that leads to real action to address this crisis. After all, the crisis is not new. Congress has been discussing a solution for decades.”

“While long-term care largely differs from health coverage or medical care, I know every member of this Committee wants to ensure that frail elderly seniors or disabled individuals across the country receive high-quality care,” stated Chairman Joseph Pitts (R-PA-16). “We want to see each person treated with dignity and respect that they deserve. And we want a long-term care system that empowers each person and respects individuals’ preferences.”

Several Representatives mentioned that those without coverage are often forced to rely on unpaid caregivers who are disproportionately represented by female family members. These unpaid caregivers are forced to forgo their careers and wages in order to care for their ailing family member. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) discussed the importance of the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, of which she is the lead House cosponsor, to support family caregivers (see previous NAHC Report article here). The concerns about burdening unpaid caregivers, particularly women, were echoed by one of the witnesses,Ms. Anne Tumlinson,CEO of Anne Tumlinson Innovations. “We cannot backdoor finance this off of women,” Ms. Tumlinson said.

There was some disagreement among the members of the Subcommittee regarding a public versus private solution to the problem of ensuring people have access to long-term care coverage.

Frank Pallone announced his intention to introduce new legislation that would create a Medicare Part E option to help pay for long-term care services. "Seventy percent of Medicare seniors will someday need long-term care services and support, and they deserve a better option when faced with catastrophic out-of-pocket costs,” he said.

Chairman Pitts, in his opening statement, said he is wary of any proposal that resembles “a new entitlement.” Other Republicans also expressed their desire to help individuals receive coverage through the private insurance market.

Another recommendation presented by one of the witnesses, Dr. Alice Rivlin, Co-Chair of the Long-Term Care Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center, was to provide states with more flexibility to offer home- and community-based services under Medicaid. This recommendation was included in a report recently released by the Bipartisan Policy Center (see previous NAHC Report article here).




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