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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

Congress Examines VA Choice Consolidation Plan’s Tiered Provider Network

May 12, 2016 12:47 PM

Congress continues toexamine the details of a proposal announced last year by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand the use of private health care arrangements in order to improve VA's ability to keep up with the growing need for care among veterans (see previous NAHC Report article here). VA has since provided additional details regarding the new Choice program, which would allow veterans to choose from a tiered network to receive care in a VA facility or select a community provider that has been pre-approved by VA. 

Under the new proposal, the network available to veterans would include three tiered groupings of providers. The first tier, the VA Core Network, would include all VA-run facilities, as well as certain facilities run by the Department of Defense, Indian Health Service, Tribal Health Programs, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and academic teaching affiliates. The additional community provider groups would be a Preferred tier of community providers that have demonstrated high-value care, as well as a Standard tier of providers that meet minimumstandards.

In March, the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the topic.“For the preferred designation, providers must meet quality and value metrics that are based on evidence-based care guidelines,” said hearing witness Baligh Yehia M.D., Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Community Care at the Veterans Health Administration.“VA plans to uniformly apply best practices to determine criteria for both tiers. VA will work to determine specific metric reporting and performance benchmarks using recognized institutions.”

While acknowledging that the VA has achieved progress in improving access to community providers, some members of the Committee questioned the VA’s proposed tiered network and expressed concern that under the proposal veterans would not be able to schedule their own appointments with community providers but instead need to rely on VA to do so.

“I understand the advantage of a tiered network, namely that it allows the VA to organize and differentiate between providers by type and quality,” said Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI-1), chairman of the Subcommittee. “However, I'm concerned that the tiered network the VA has proposed will hold government and academic affiliate providers to a different, perhaps less stringent, standard than private sector providers will be held to. That is fundamentally unfair. It's also unnecessary.” Dr. Yehia responded that the VA will listen to the veteran’s preference and then contact the community provider in order to “link the two up.”

In responding to a question about the tiered network, Dr. Yehia said the value-based tier approach was necessary because the VA needs “as many providers to partner with us as possible. And so, I think at minimum we want to set the standards. You have to have a license. You have to be able to practice in that state.” He continued: “But by just setting one bar and not being able to reward those providers that perform really well, I don't think that goes far enough… If you meet the quality and satisfaction metrics of the VA, anyone can become a preferred provider.”

The hearing followed reports last year of veterans across the country facing delays and denials in services. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) received reports of VA denying authorizations and renewal authorizations of home health and other services due to funding shortages. NAHC contacted VA officials along with Congressional staff responsible for VA health care, reporting the problems facing veteran’s in need of home care. Overall, VA health care has been in the spotlight with repeated instances of care access problems and quality of care concerns. The home care issues are another example of those problems.





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