Skip to Main Content
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
Twitter Facebook Pintrest
A A A
Print

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. 

-
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 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

-
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

Most Doctors Unsure How To Discuss End-of-Life Care, Survey Says

April 21, 2016 09:44 AM

This story was authored By Barbara Feder Ostrov and is reprinted from Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Doctors know it’s important to talk with their patients about end-of-life care.

But they’re finding it tough to start those conversations — and when they do, they’re not sure what to say, according to a national poll released [April 14].

Such discussions are becoming more important as baby boomers reach their golden years. By 2030, an estimated 72 million Americans will be 65 or over, nearly one-fifth of the U.S. population.

Medicare now reimburses doctors $86 to discuss end-of-life care in an office visit that covers topics such as hospice, living wills and do-not-resuscitate orders. Known as “advance care planning,” the conversations can also be held in a hospital.

Payment for such discussions was initially included in the Affordable Care Act, but removed because of the controversy over so-called “death panels.” Medicare ultimately changed its policy, independently of Obamacare, to allow reimbursement for the end-of-life planning sessions.

The poll of 736 primary care doctors and specialists, including 202 in California, examined their views on advance care planning and end-of-life conversations with patients. Among the findings:

  • While 75 percent of doctors said Medicare reimbursement makes it more likely they’d have advance care planning discussions, only about 14 percent said they had actually billed Medicare for those visits.
  • Three quarters also believe it’s their responsibility to initiate end-of-life conversations.
  • Fewer than one-third reported any formal training on end-of-life discussions with patients and their families.
  • More than half said they had not discussed end-of-life care with their own physicians.

The survey was commissioned by The John A. Hartford Foundation, the California Health Care Foundation and Cambia Health Foundation. (California Healthline is an editorially independent publication of the California Health Care Foundation.)

Patients and their families increasingly want to talk about end-of-life care with their physicians well before facing a terminal illness, studies have shown. Most also want to die at home rather than in a hospital, although cultural differences influence end-of-life preferences.

“Patients want their primary care doctors to have these conversations, and the poll shows that physicians recognize that it’s their responsibility,” said Dr. Sandra Hernández, president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation and a physician who treats HIV patients. “It’s wonderful that Medicare is reimbursing for these discussions. Now, physicians need more skills and training.”

“Having the patient be able to participate in defining what end-of-life looks like is where the whole health care delivery system is going,” Hernández said.

Policy experts are urging more end-of-life conversations not just to accommodate patients’ desires, but to save money on aggressive medical interventions that patients and their families don’t want and that won’t prolong life.

A recent study found nearly 40 percent of American patients dying with cancer received at least one chemotherapy treatment in the six months before they died, more than in six other countries studied. An average of about $18,500 was spent on U.S. hospital costs for patients in their last six months.

Nearly a quarter of the physicians in the national poll said that the electronic health records they’re required to use don’t have a place to include patients’ end-of-life preferences. Even when electronic health records signaled that a patient had an advance care directive, nearly a third of doctors reported they couldn’t access its actual contents.

And doctors who received their medical training years ago say they rarely focused on how to talk to patients about end-of-life care, although medical education is improving in that regard.

Physicians in large medical systems may find more support than those in private practice. At Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, physicians receive training in end-of-life discussions and have time to carry them out, said Dr. Ruma Kumar, the HMO’s regional medical director of supportive care services.

Kaiser Permanente uses “physician extenders” — nurse practitioners, registered nurses and social workers — to work with patients on various stages of what the HMO calls “life care planning.” The HMO also offers a website to guide people through the process.

Kumar said Kaiser encourages both doctors and patients to think of end-of-life planning “as a routine part of care, just like you’d get a mammogram or colon cancer screening.”

(The general survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. For the internist/primary care provider sample, margin is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. For specialists, plus or minus 6.0.)

This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.

 

Back

 









NAHC Report
©  National Association for Home Care & Hospice. All Rights Reserved.