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National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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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

CMS Amends Fire Safety Standards – Impacts Hospice Inpatient Facilities

May 12, 2016 12:41 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a final rule amending fire safety standards for specific Medicare and Medicaid-participating facilities (including hospice inpatient facilities), adopting the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code (NFPA 101), and eliminating regulatory references to earlier editions of the Life Safety Code. Finally, the regulation adopts the 2012 edition of the Health Care Facilities Code (NFPA 99), with some exceptions. The changes were proposed in April 2014 and will become effective July 5, 2016.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is analyzing the final rule and will be providing additional information in the coming weeks. In the interim, following are the text changes to the Hospice Conditions of Participation at 418.110 as published by CMS in the final rule:

§418.110 Condition of participation: Hospices that provide inpatient care directly.

* * * * *

(d) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) The hospice must meet the applicable provisions and must proceed in accordance with the Life Safety Code (NFPA 101 and Tentative Interim Amendments TIA 12-1, TIA 12-2, TIA 12-3, and TIA 12-4.)

(ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section, corridor doors and doors to rooms containing flammable or combustible materials must be provided with positive latching hardware. Roller latches are prohibited on such doors.

(2) In consideration of a recommendation by the State survey agency or Accrediting Organization or at the discretion of the Secretary, may waive, for periods deemed appropriate, specific provisions of the Life Safety Code, which would result in unreasonable hardship upon a hospice facility, but only if the waiver will not adversely affect the health and safety of the patients.

* * * *

(4) A hospice may place alcohol-based hand rub dispensers in its facility if the dispensers are installed in a manner that adequately protects against access by vulnerable populations.

(5) When a sprinkler system is shut down for more than 10 hours, the hospice must:

(i) Evacuate the building or portion of the building affected by the system outage until the system is back in service, or

(ii) Establish a fire watch until the system is back in service.

(6) Buildings must have an outside window or outside door in every sleeping room, and for any building constructed after [July 5, 2016] the sill height must not exceed 36 inches above the floor. Windows in atrium walls are considered outside windows for the purposes of this requirement.

(e) Standard: Building Safety. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the hospice must meet the applicable provisions and must proceed in accordance with the Health Care Facilities Code (NFPA 99 and Tentative Interim Amendments TIA 12-2, TIA 12-3, TIA 12-4, TIA 12-5 and TIA 12-6).

(1) Chapters 7, 8, 12, and 13 of the adopted Health Care Facilities Code do not apply to a hospice.

(2) If application of the Health Care Facilities Code required under paragraph (e) of this section would result in unreasonable hardship for the hospice, CMS may waive specific provisions of the Health Care Facilities Code, but only if the waiver does not adversely affect the health and safety of patients.

* * * * *

(q) The standards incorporated by reference in this section are approved for incorporation by reference by the Director of the Office of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may inspect a copy at the CMS Information Resource Center, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to:

If any changes in this edition of the Code are incorporated by reference, CMS will publish a document in the Federal Register to announce the changes.

(1) National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169,, 1.617.770.3000.

(i) NFPA 99, Standards for Health Care Facilities Code of the National Fire Protection Association 99, 2012 edition, issued August 11, 2011.

(ii) TIA 12-2 to NFPA 99, issued August 11, 2011.

(iii) TIA 12-3 to NFPA 99, issued August 9, 2012.

(iv) TIA 12-4 to NFPA 99, issued March 7, 2013.

(v) TIA 12-5 to NFPA 99, issued August 1, 2013.

(vi) TIA 12-6 to NFPA 99, issued March 3, 2014.

(vii) NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, 2012 edition, issued August 11, 2011;

(viii) TIA 12-1 to NFPA 101, issued August 11, 2011.

(ix) TIA 12-2 to NFPA 101, issued October 30, 2012.

(x) TIA 12-3 to NFPA 101, issued October 22, 2013.

(xi) TIA 12-4 to NFPA 101, issued October 22, 2013.

(2) [Reserved]

As part of a press release that was issued concurrent with the final rule, CMS stated the following:

“This final rule meets health care facilities’ desire to modernize their environments while also ensuring the necessary steps to provide patients and staff with the appropriate level of safety…Health care facilities can now be more home-like while ensuring that the most modern fire protection practices are in place.”

The provisions in this final rule cover construction, protection, and operational features designed to provide safety for Medicare beneficiaries from fire, smoke, and panic. Some of the main requirements laid out in this final rule include:

  • Health care facilities located in buildings that are taller than 75 feet are required to install automatic sprinkler systems within 12 years after the rule’s effective date.
  • Health care facilities are required to have a fire watch or building evacuation if their sprinkler systems is out of service for more than ten hours.
  • The provisions offer LTC facilities greater flexibility in what they can place in corridors. Currently, they cannot include benches or other seating areas because of fire code requirements limiting potential barriers to firefighters. Moving forward, LTC facilities will be able to include more home-like items such as fixed seating in the corridor for resting and certain decorations in patient rooms (such as pictures and other items of home décor).
  • Fireplaces will be permitted in smoke compartments without a one hour fire wall rating, which makes a facility more home-like for residents.Cooking facilities now may have an opening to the hallway corridor. This will permit residents of inpatient facilities such as nursing homes to make food for themselves or others if they choose to, and, if the patient does decide to make food, facility staff is able to provide supervision of the patient.
  • For ASCs, all doors to hazardous areas must be self-closing or must close automatically. Additionally, alcohol based hand rub dispensers now may be placed in corridors to allow for easier access.



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