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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

Medicaid Home Care Priorities Presented at NAHC’s March on Washington

April 12, 2016 10:56 AM

Home care now exceeds institutional care for the first time in Medicaid Long Term Services and Supports, and Medicaid home care continues to grow to meet the increasing needs across the country. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s (NAHC) 2016 March on Washington Conference included a session focused on the priority issues in Medicaid home care. These priority issues include pending legislation and legislative remedies relative to Medicaid Managed Care Long Term Services and Supports, the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements, and the Affordable Care Act employer mandate. The session provided advice and strategies for discussing these issues with members of Congress. Subsequent NAHC Report coverage will summarize the discussion on private duty home care issues.

The Medicaid Action Council, a NAHC affiliate, launched in order to implement strategies that affect Medicaid policy. Andrea L. Devoti and Ellen Bolch are the co-chairs of the Medicaid Action Council, and Colin Roskey is the Executive Director. “Recognizing in advance that we cannot be in 50 state capitols every day, in that vein we want to support you the best way that we can, with advocacy that’s smart, focused and important to the membership that you support,” Roskey said.

With the growth in Medicaid home care, Devoti said, the efforts by the Medicaid Action Council are increasingly important. “Medicaid and the Medicaid expansion is becoming the biggest part of home care and hospice. We need to have our delegations understand that we really have to protect and expand those benefits across the country for hospice and home care… They have to understand the regulatory problems involved and I think that’s a major issue for us,” Devoti said.

With regards to advocacy efforts, Roskey recommended expressing a willingness to partner with a rapidly changing system. “What I think your constituencies and Congressional offices want to hear is that you are willing to and are able to partner with and change with the system,” Roskey said.

Roskey further explained that the current administration is focused on improvements to Medicaid, and that many of those changes benefit home and community-based care. “The central focus of this administration in its waning months is to do as much value over volume as possible in every program that they run, including Medicaid. You can see it in the President’s budget request for fiscal year 2017. There’s more spending dedicated to improving Medicaid than there is spending dedicated to improving Medicare.” For example, the budget contains proposals to expand waiver programs improving home and community based-services, move away from institutional care, and support compliance with Olmstead.

Another issue discussed during the session was that, with the growth in Medicaid, there will be an increased focus on program integrity measures, such as legislation to require electronic visit verification under Medicaid.

Following are the top Medicaid home care priorities discussed during the session:

Position Medicaid home care providers as strategic partners and advocates for home care programs within Medicaid managed care organizations.

CongressshouldrequirethatanyLTSSMedicaidmanaged care program develop an Olmstead compliance plan, maintain or expand  thehomecarebenefits previouslyprovidedbythestate,complywiththefee-for-servicequalityofcarestandards,andensure enrolleeschoiceamonghome careproviders. Additionally, CMS should create a program of federal oversight to monitor the compliance of managed long term services and supports programs with respect to payment, network and care adequacy as currently done for Medicare Advantage plans.

Protect and expand access to mandatory Medicaid home care and hospice benefits

Congress should establish a mandatory Medicaid home care and hospice benefit.Congressshouldalso setminimum standardsregardingthe scope of such benefits. 

Congress  should continue its work in combating waste, fraud, and abuse in our nation’s health care system by requiring CMS to promulgate model minimum standards for compliance and program integrity, with adequate financial support for all parties.

Engage with stakeholders to develop and advocate for national uniform data sets and measurable quality outcomes in Medicaid home care, in both fee for service and managed care

Congress should require that CMS work with stakeholders to devise appropriate quality standards for long term services and supports as well as minimum mandatory uniform data sets that would be required of state Medicaid programs to measure the care and cost effectiveness of long term services and supports.

Ensure appropriate reimbursement rates as well as fair and appropriate compensation and benefits for Medicaid home care staff.

Congressshouldenactlegislationthat requiresthatstates continually assessthe adequacy of Medicaidhomecareandhospiceratesofpaymentandthe methodology utilized for establishingrates to prevent any loss in access to care.

The longstandingcompanionshipservicesovertime compensation exemption,as applied to home care underFair Labor Standards Act,should be restored to the standards in effect from 1975 to 2015 as Medicaid programs are not prepared to absorb additional costs triggered by the regulatory change.  Alternatively, Congress should ensure that Medicaid adequately reimburse employers for any added costs of overtime compensation and enact reforms to the FLSA that establish a reasonable compensation structure that recognizes the unique aspects of care in the home.

Congress should establish appropriate protections for Medicaid home care from the consequences of the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act. These can include: an exemption of Medicaid home care providers; an increase in funding for home care services to cover the costs of compliance; and automatic Medicaid enrollment for certain Medicaid home care workers.

Stay tuned to NAHC Report for further coverage of the March on Washington.




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