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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

Reminder — Action Alert: Ask Your Representative to Cosign Letter to CMS Opposing Prior Authorization Proposal

Deadline Extended to May 20 for Representatives to Sign the Letter
May 20, 2016 09:35 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is asking everyone to contact their members of the U.S. House of Representatives to request that they cosign the letter being circulated by Congressmen Tom Price (R-GA-6) and James P. McGovern (D-MA-2) urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to rescind its prior authorization proposal for Medicare home health care services. In February, CMS issued a Paperwork Reduction Act Notice containing a proposal to institute a system of “prior authorization” on all home health services in five states. This proposal, which could easily expand to additional states, threatens Medicare beneficiaries and upstanding home health agencies because it would be costly, burdensome, and totally ineffective in preventing fraud and abuse.

By recruiting as many members of the U.S. House as possible to sign the Price-McGovern letter, NAHC members can help ensure CMS understands the concerns of the home health care community regarding this proposal. The deadline for signing the letter has been extended to Friday, May 20 at noon, so please act now using NAHC’s Legislative Action Center (available here) to contact your member of the U.S. House and request that they sign on to the letter today.

In addition to Reps. Price and McGovern, at least 31 Representatives have signed the letter so far including: Reps. Rick W. Allen (R-GA-12), Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL-4), Brian Babin (R-TX-36), Diane Black (R-TN-6), Mo Brooks (R-AL-5), Steve Chabot (R-OH-1), Katherine M. Clark (D-MA-5), K. Michael Conaway (R-TX-11), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Sam Farr (D-CA-20), H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9), Glenn Grothman (R-WI-6), Andy Harris (R-MD-1), Richard Hudson (R-NC-8), Walter B. Jones (R-NC-3), Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA-4), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-1), Doug Lamborn (R-CO-5), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA-8), Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24), Patrick Meehan (R-PA-7), Richard E. Neal (D-MA-1), Gary J. Palmer (R-AL-6), Scott Perry (R-PA-4), Ted Poe (R-TX-2), Mike Pompeo (R-KS-4), David P. Roe (R-TN-1), Pete Sessions (R-TX-32), Lamar Smith (R-TX-21), Scott Tipton (R-CO-3), Bruce Westerman (R-AR-4).

Prior authorization would result in delays in patient access to services and disruptions in the continuity of patient care, bringing increased risks for the patient during the transition from an inpatient setting in terms of infection, medication errors, and other factors. In addition, prior authorization would increase health care costs for providers and Medicare. For example, a one-day delay in discharging a patient from a hospital setting brings an average cost increase of $1,938 for Medicare. NAHC previously submitted comments on the proposal (see previous NAHC Report article here).

“We are deeply concerned that prior authorization would delay and impede access to services while potentially increasing costs to the Medicare program and taxpayers, by placing burdensome requirements on providers and jeopardizing patient safety and care continuity,” the Representatives said in a letter to their colleagues asking them to join in cosigning the letter to CMS. The letter additionally outlined the following concerns with the prior authorization proposal:

Negative Impact on Patient Care and Outcomes:

• Prior authorization will result in unnecessary disruptions in the continuity of patient care for especially vulnerable beneficiaries and may result in adverse events occurring during the transition from hospital to home, putting patients at risk for missing medications or exacerbating a chronic condition.

• Prior authorization will impede the timely delivery of care due to requiring physician-ordered services be reviewed and approved prior to care initiation. Adding extensive documentation to already highly regulated care is counterproductive.

Imposition of Costs to Medicare and Administrative Burden:

• Prior authorization could have the counterproductive effect of increasing costs to Medicare by delaying hospital discharges and burdening a system currently focused on transformative new care models, such as Alternative Payment Models (APMs) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

Again, the deadline for members of the U.S. House to sign the Price-McGovern letter is May 20 at noon. Please contact your Representative today to ask that they join Reps. Price and McGovern and cosign the letter to CMS. You can do so using NAHC’s Legislative Action Center (available here).

 

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