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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

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Health Care Fraud Case: Broad Implications for All Health Care Providers

April 20, 2016 08:58 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on April 19, 2016 in a case that has broad implications for any provider doing business with Medicaid and/or Medicare.  The case, Universal Health Services v. Escobar,, concerns a lawsuit brought under the federal False Claims Act, which applies to all dealings with the federal government that involves a financial impact in some form. Most states also have their own equivalent laws. While the False Claims Act originated in the Civil War era, it has had a rebirth of sorts in recent years with whistleblower lawsuits and federal prosecutions focused on health care related transactions in Medicaid and Medicare.

At the heart of the case is the question as to whether the submission of a claim for payment to Medicaid impliedly certifies the accuracy and validity of the claim in the absence of an express certification of such. In this case, a mental health care provider submitted claims for payment and accepted payment from the state Medicaid program for services provided to a patient even though there was a finding by the state that the provider violated certain conditions of participation in Medicaid regarding patient care and supervision. The state did not attempt to deny the claim. Instead, it issued a citation of deficiencies to the provider with required corrective action along with a fine levied on one individual. However, a False Claim s Act case was brought by the patient’s family arguing that the rule violation made the claim submission a false claim by implication.

The Justices peppered all the attorneys with a wide range of questions, including hypotheticals on government purchases of guns that did not work, food that was rotten, and soldier’s boots that wore out too quickly. For the most part, the Justices’ questions appeared to indicate that they supported the “implied certification” concept. Chief Justice Roberts appeared a bit more skeptical given the seemingly endless series of regulations that applied to health care providers. A number of lower courts have supported the implied certification standard.

Home health agencies and hospices are among the providers that could be affected by the Court’s ruling, which is expected by the end of June. While some conditions of participation are also conditions for payment, not all are considered such. If the Court accepts the implied certification standard, it could trigger more whistleblower False Claim Act-based lawsuits in matters of regulatory compliance. For example, a violation of one of the myriad of rules in the Medicare Conditions of Participation could be the basis of such a lawsuit even where the person received appropriate and Medicare-covered services.

“The False Claims Act lawyers might then comb through CMS Statements of Deficiencies for home health agencies and hospice to pick out targets for their lawsuits. These lawyers go looking for people, employees and patients, who can then act as plaintiffs,” stated Bill Dombi, NAHC Vice President for Law, who attended the Supreme Court argument.  He added that it not as simple as it may sound in that they still need to prove that the claim was “false or fraudulent” and that the falsehood was material to the claim presented for payment. “False” means that the provider knew it was false or that the provider acted with reckless disregard as to its falsity. “There is a big difference under the False Claim Act standards between knowingly selling the military guns that do not work and a negligent violation of a Medicare Condition of Participation that had no material impact on whether the care provided was within coverage standards, stated Dombi. 

How the case plays out remains to be seen. If the Court accepts the implied certification standard, all health care providers will need to redouble their compliance efforts on all rules to manage the risk that a violation rises to the level of a False Claims Act risk. NAHC will report on the decision when it is issued.

More information about the case can be found at Search  under the name of the case or its case number, 15-3.




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