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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. 

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

NAHC Awaits Supreme Court Action on Overtime Lawsuit

May 5, 2016 08:52 AM

The wheels of justice move slowly, particularly when the U.S. Supreme Court is involved. On November 19, 2015, NAHC and its co-plaintiffs filed a “Petition for Writ of Certiorari” with the U.S. Supreme Court following the Court of Appeals reversal of the favorable District Court ruling in the lawsuit challenging the validity of the Department of Labor rules that effectively eliminated the overtime exemptions for personal care attendant and live-in services. Those rules went into effect on October 13, 2015, after Chief Justice Roberts denied the request for a stay of the Court of Appeals decision.

The petition is the first step in a Supreme Court appeal. It asks the Court to grant a hearing on the lawsuit. Each year, the Supreme Court receives 7,000-8,000 appeals and grants hearings on about 80. That means the odds of an actual Supreme Court review of a lawsuit’s merits is about 1 percent.

The Supreme Court originally scheduled the NAHC appeal for review on March 25, 2016, but then later rescheduled it for April 1. Each Friday during a Supreme Court term, the justices meet to determine if they will hear any pending cases. Their determinations are issued normally the following Monday.  However, the Court has not yet issued a determination in the NAHC appeal on any of the five Mondays that followed the April 1 conference of the justices. What does that mean?

Supreme Court watchers have long speculated as to the possible meaning behind the Court’s occasional “relisting” of pending petitions. Some believe it has no meaning. Others feel that it means the justices are divided as to whether a case should be heard and time is taken to allow justices to convince others of their position.  Probably the best assessment comes from SCOTUSblog   where a relist watcher, John Elwood, states: “Only time shall tell if four Justices have true love’s passion for the question whether the Department of Labor improperly denied third-party home care companies the ability to avail themselves of statutory home-care overtime exemptions.”  http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/04/relist-watch-act-ii-scene-2/

The home care community can take some solace that the Court is giving the case more attention than usual. While the odds are always against the Court taking any case, NAHC successfully convinced the Court to hear two earlier lawsuits involving the overtime exemption, eventually prevailing with a unanimous ruling reversing a Court of Appeals decision that denied the exemption with respect to employees of home care companies. Since these appeals, the Department of Labor “did a 180” on the issue by establishing the new rules that deny the exemption to third-party employers, leading to the current lawsuit.

An added element in the Court now is the unfilled seat left by the unexpected death of Justice Scalia who was on the Court for the unanimous 2007 ruling in favor of home care. With only eight justices today, it is more difficult to reach the necessary four justices who must agree to hear a case. Optimistically, the four-time relisting of the home care lawsuit may mean that several justices, but not yet four, want to hear the case. However, as Mr. Elwood observed, only time will tell.

NAHC has not limited its advocacy on the important issues involving overtime compensation to the case before the Supreme Court. Legislation is pending in the House and Senate that would reverse the Department of Labor rules. Further, NAHC initiated efforts with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to require Medicaid programs to ensure that patients needing home care services that triggered overtime costs would have continued access. CMS joined forces with the Department of Justice issuing guidance to the states in that regard, warning that violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) would occur if the states did not make such care available. Further, the Department of Labor has issued detailed guidance on the new rules, helping home care companies, state Medicaid programs, and managed care organizations to fully understand what it takes to comply with the new overtime rules.

As we have said in NAHC Report on this issue many times since the 1990s, “stay tuned” for further developments as the battle goes on.     

 

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