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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 Acting Administrator Slavitt Pitches Technology Industry to Partner with State Medicaid Programs

Says New Approaches to Medicaid IT Underpin Needed Improvements to Home and Community Based Care
May 31, 2016 09:33 AM

Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is continuing his agency’s efforts to bring together state Medicaid programs and technology companies. In January 2016, Slavitt announced a new “one-stop-shop set of resources” to help technology companies “identify opportunities” to enter the market and participate with state Medicaid programs. The new resources allow vendors to locate links to states’ Medicaid procurement websites and to any open state Medicaid IT Requests for Proposals. Slavitt also recently participated in a Silicon Valley forum on bringing technology to Medicaid, and he wrote a blog post describing CMS’ ongoing efforts in this space.

“While there are 56 different state, district, and territorial Medicaid programs, there is a lot of commonality in their IT needs,” Slavitt stated. “There is always new IT procurement and opportunities for new, innovative vendors in this space. This industry is primed for a new era—Software as a Service software—that has real time capabilities and requirements and Federal sponsorship for a 90 percent match on qualifying IT investments. Investment gravitates to needs and problems it can solve. There is no greater opportunity than bringing technical know-how, innovation and creativity to improve the health of Americans with health, social and economic challenges.”

One barrier to bringing technology to Medicaid, Slavitt said, is “there may be some apprehension by IT companies – large or small, new or established – to engage in bidding for state government contracts.”  He said, CMS is “working to tear down these barriers and taking it past the opportunity to make a new market.”  

In addition to launching the resource center for companies to identify opportunities to partner with states, CMS is also:

  • Developing a “playbook” to help companies translate states’ requests for proposals into work they believe can move the needle.
  • Inviting vendors to seek pre-certification from CMS for their Medicaid IT solutions and put their names and products on a “Pre-Certified Medicaid Modules” list on the website.  
  • Actively recruiting a full time entrepreneur-in-residence fully committed to the Medicaid space. 

Slavitt said these efforts are designed to underpin improvements to the quality of and access to home and community based services under Medicaid. “It is an exciting time to be in the Medicaid space,” he said. “With Medicaid expansion, Medicaid has become America’s health plan. Medicaid has always served some of our most vulnerable citizens: the elderly, disabled, low-income, pregnant women, and children. New policies strengthen consumer access and driving improved quality and additional care options for people at home and in their communities. Stronger approaches to IT underpin these promising new directions.”

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice supports the expansion of and improvements to home and community based services under state Medicaid programs. NAHC more broadly outlined specific technology recommendations for home care and hospice at its 2016 March on Washington Conference.




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