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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

Rep. Jenkins Discusses the Importance of the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act at Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Hearing on Improving Medicare

June 14, 2016 08:40 AM

On June 8, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Health Subcommittee held a “Member Day” hearing and 20 bipartisan Members presented legislative proposals on improving Medicare. 

During the hearing, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) discussed the importance of the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act (H.R. 1202), which would recognize attending physician assistants as attending physicians to serve hospice patients. Rep. Jenkins and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced the bill last year and now have 36 additional cosponsors. In the U.S. Senate, Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced similar legislation (S. 1354). Current law limits the patient’s choice of a hospice attending physician to the patient's physician or Nurse Practitioner (NP).

“H.R. 1202, the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act, which I introduced with Congressman Thompson, will allow physician assistants to receive reimbursement from Medicare as the attending physician in a hospice setting,” Rep. Jenkins said. In explaining the importance of the bill, she said hospice care is “incredibly important” in her district where there is “a lack of hospitals and doctors’ offices that urban districts have with large health systems.”

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has created a campaign in its Legislative Action Center through which advocates can easily contact their Members of Congress to support the House and Senate bills. Please click here to contact your Members and encourage them to cosponsor the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act today.

During the hearing, the Members discussed more than 30 legislative proposals regarding Medicare. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) raised another proposal related to home and community-based care, the Community Based Independence for Seniors Act (H.R. 4212/S. 704). “The bill would establish a Community-Based Institutional Special Needs Plan demonstration program to provide home and community-based long-term services and supports to low-income Medicare beneficiaries who need assistance with at least two activities of daily living,” Rep. Meehan said. “Home and community-based care holds the promise of keeping seniors healthy and avoiding costly care.”

Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) said the hearing was an opportunity for the Members to make the case for their legislative Medicare proposals. “Members have put a lot of work into developing and drafting these pieces of legislation,” he said. “And this Member Day hearing is their opportunity to share with their colleagues—and the American people—why these bills are important and why this committee should take them up.”

Additional information about the hearing is available here, and video footage is available here.




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