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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

Senior Groups Comment Regarding Long-Term Care Financing and Delivery to House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee

March 15, 2016 11:20 AM

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) recently sent a letter to the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health commenting on a recent hearing by the Subcommittee on the topic of long-term services and supports (LTSS) financing and delivery. The LCAO comments noted the need to address the current lack of a comprehensive LTSS financing and delivery system, as well as the need to end the institutional bias in Medicaid by making it easier for people to receive home and community-based services. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) previously submitted its own separate comments to the Subcommittee on the topic (see previous NAHC Report coverage 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.

“The lack of a comprehensive LTSS finance and delivery system today translates into a crisis for American families that places enormous financial, emotional, and physical strain on family caregivers as well as the person needing assistance,” LCAO stated. “At present, Medicaid provides the majority of paid LTSS, but has strict means-testing requirements that conflict with other policies intended to encourage savings and economic independence. For example, persons with disabilities who would like to work more face an unacceptable choice between losing the assistance needed to survive or not working and keeping that assistance.”

“In addition, America does not fully deliver LTSS in the settings people want most, an inefficient use of resources,” LCAO continued. “While high quality care must be assured in all settings, virtually everyone desires to be at home and in their community. Yet, Medicaid still suffers from a ‘bias’ that places far too many in an institution when they could otherwise remain at home or in their community. Beyond, ending this bias, improving delivery also means ensuring an adequate workforce to provide these services and that family caregivers and workers alike have the supports they need to provide quality care in the community.”

LCAO included in its comments the following principles for LTSS financing:

  • National Problem, National Solution – Recognize that although states, communities, families, and individuals have important roles to play, financing for long-term services and supports is a national problem that requires a national solution.
  • Universality with Limited Opt-Out – Create a public program that allows all people, including individuals with disabilities and those near retirement, the opportunity to contribute to and prepare for the costs of long-term services and supports. Make participation as convenient as possible but give people the limited choice to opt out.
  • Public/Private Partnership – Provide a strong foundation of protection while providing opportunities for personal planning that include a role for private sector options.
  • Affordability and Risk Pooling – Provide for broad pooling of risk and appropriate low-income subsidies to make premiums affordable enough so that all people, regardless of income and health status, can participate. Ensure that a new program does not force people to impoverish themselves to qualify.
  • Fiscal Responsibility – Provide actuarially sound funding, such as through voluntary premiums that build reserves over time sufficient to pay for future needs in a way that is affordable to individuals and to society as a whole.
  • Relieve Pressure on Medicaid – Provide additional long-term services and supports funding mechanisms that will help take the pressure off of future Medicaid expenditures, while preserving the guaranteed safety net.
  • Consumer Choice and Control – Promote independence and dignity across the broad continuum of services and supports by ensuring beneficiaries the right to control and choose what services they receive, how and where they are delivered and who provides them.
  • Support Family Caregivers – Recognize and support the central role families and other informal caregivers play in planning for and providing long-term services and supports, including developing strategies to support working caregivers to maintain their financial security.
  • Invest in Quality Care and Quality of Life –Target additional funding to ensure sufficient training and compensation for the workforce and to strengthen oversight, enforcement, and advocacy programs that improve quality of life and quality of care in all settings.

The full LCAO letter is available here.

 

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