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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

Two New Survey and Certification Memorandums Affecting All Provider Types Issued by CMS

March 25, 2016 12:15 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued two new Survey and Certification Memorandums affecting all provider types.

In the first memo, CMS clarifies for surveyors the procedures for conducting the exit conference in the review of compliance with Medicare or Medicaid Conditions of Participation, Conditions for Coverage, and Requirements for Participation.

According to CMS policy, the Exit Conference during the onsite survey is both a courtesy to the provider and a way to expedite the provider's planning ahead of the formal receipt of the survey findings in the Form CMS-2567, Statement of Deficiencies. The purpose of the Exit Conference is to informally communicate preliminary survey team findings and provide an opportunity for the exchange of information with the provider’s or supplier’s administrator, designee or other invited staff. The findings or information conveyed at the Exit Conference are preliminary in nature and are subject to change pursuant to the State and CMS supervisory review processes. Additionally, an Exit Conference is not always guaranteed.

For non-LTC providers and suppliers, if the provider/supplier asks for the specific regulatory basis for the noncompliance findings, the surveyors should generally provide the regulatory grouping, as long as the team is not still deliberating which part of the regulation is most pertinent. The survey team should avoid identifying the specific tags, as the tag codes often identify the Condition- or Standard-level classification for most non-LTC deficiencies. Such specific details should wait since CMS’ long-standing policy requires supervisory review.

States must not leave draft CMS-2567 forms onsite before they are finalized. CMS believes that this type of activity undermines the survey and certification process by shortening the time for the investigation and limiting the quality assurance process for the review of the CMS-2567 forms.

The second memo addresses changes to the Certification Number (CCN) State codes. Due to a lack of available CCNs for some providers wishing to enroll or modify their current certification in Medicare, additional State codes are being added to the Automated Survey Processing Environment (ASPEN), the Accrediting Organization System for Storing User Recorded Experiences (ASSURE), as well as Medicare payment processing systems, effective April 4, 2016.

The CCN is used to identify each separately certified Medicare provider or supplier. It is used to track provider agreements and cost reports. The national provider identifier (NPI) and provider transaction account number (PTAN) are tied to the CCN. The CCN for providers and suppliers paid under Medicare Part A have six digits. The first two digits identify the State in which the provider is located. The last four digits identify the type of facility.

CMS has nearly exhausted all available CCNs for certain facility types in some States. Once all CCN ranges available for a facility type are exhausted for the State, new assignments start over using the next State code assigned.

Currently, systems are being updated to accept 17 new State codes in the following States:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington



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