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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

CMS Announces New Medicaid Initiative Funding Interoperable Technology for Long-Term Care Providers Currently Ineligible for EHR Incentives

March 17, 2016 11:34 AM

On March 2, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new Medicaid initiative to bring interoperable technology to long-term care, behavioral health providers, substance abuse treatment centers, and other providers. CMS has updated guidance to expand the scope of state expenditures eligible for the 90 percent matching rate to those that promote health information exchange (HIE) and encourage the adoption of certified Electronic Health Records (EHR).

According to CMS, the initiative is designed to help bridge the information sharing gap in Medicaid by permitting states to request the 90 percent enhanced matching funds from CMS “to connect a broader variety of Medicaid providers to a health information exchange than those providers who are eligible for such connections today.” CMS added that “this additional funding will enhance the sustainability of health information exchanges and lead to increased connectivity among Medicaid providers.” For example, CMS stated, the exchange of information “can support patients with multiple chronic conditions as they navigate specialists, hospitals, primary care, home health care, and pharmacies.”

During a speech the day of the announcement, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said he was “excited” to announce the interoperability funding “to connect many of the remaining parts of the system that are not part of the EHR incentive program but serve our neediest Medicaid patients every day – long-term care, behavioral health and substance abuse providers.”

In its Legislative Blueprint for Action, NAHC stated that Congress needs to continue to work with the Obama administration to provide financial support for home health agencies [HHAs] to encourage the adoption of electronic health records by home care providers.  The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, should lend assistance to all health care sectors to support for the transition to interoperable EHRs across the continuum of care.  This support to currently non-incentivized providers in post acute care settings should include monetary incentives such as small business loans, tax incentives, grants from the Medicare and Medicaid programs, partnerships with hospitals and physician practices, grants for the development of HIT standards for the Home Health Plan of Care and Care Transition data standards.  Lastly, ONC should also develop voluntary EHR certification guidelines for home care EHR products.

Although not mandated by the HITECH Act to do so, in order to participate in the industry wide goal of EHRs, HHAs and hospices will require financial assistance to purchase the necessary systems and adopt new certified electronic health information technologies. Current reimbursement standards under Medicare, Medicaid, and other payers do not provide the capital foundation for such purchases.  As the opportunities for health information exchange increase home health agencies need to be able to meet these demands function as a key component of longitudinal care coordination and patient centered care.

Additional information about the CMS announcement is available here.





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