Skip to Main Content
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
Twitter Facebook Pintrest


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

Getting Hospice GIP and Continuous Care Right: How to Avoid Risk while Meeting Care Needs

NAHC Web Event: Tuesday, June 21, 1:00-2:30 PM Eastern
June 17, 2016 01:43 PM

Research findings of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have raised serious concerns about potential misuse of the hospice general inpatient (GIP) level of care — including both inappropriate use when patients are not eligible as well as instances where hospices do not have GIP available in the event that a patient may need it. The OIG has written two significant reports on the utilization of GIP in the past few years:

Some of the findings from the most recent OIG report are:

  • Hospices billed one-third of GIP stays inappropriately
  • Hospices commonly billed for GIP when the beneficiary did not have uncontrolled pain or unmanaged symptoms
  • Hospices billed inappropriately for about half of GIP stays in SNFs
  • Medicare sometimes paid twice for drugs for beneficiaries receiving GIP
  • Hospices did not meet care planning requirements for 85 percent of GIP stays
  • Hospices sometimes provided poor quality care and often did not provide intense services

Based on the findings the OIG made some recommendations:

  • CMS increase its oversight of hospice GIP claims and review Part D payments for drugs for hospice beneficiaries
  • CMS conduct prepayment reviews for lengthy GIP stays
  • CMS Increase surveyor efforts to ensure that hospices meet care planning requirements
  • CMS establish additional enforcement remedies for poor hospice performance

The OIG also has had GIP in its annual work plan for a number of years.  The 2016 OIG work plan states the following:

We will review the use of the general inpatient care level of the Medicare hospice benefit. We will assess the appropriateness of hospices’ general inpatient care claims and the content of election statements for hospice beneficiaries who receive general inpatient care. We will also review hospice medical records to address concerns that this level of hospice care is being billed when that level of service is not medically necessary. We will review beneficiaries’ plans of care and determine whether they meet key requirements.  Hospice care is palliative rather than curative. When a beneficiary elects hospice care, the hospice agency assumes the responsibility for medical care related to the beneficiary’s terminal illness and related conditions. Federal regulations address Medicare conditions of participation (CoP) for hospices. (42 CFR Part418.) Beneficiaries may revoke their election of hospice care and return to standard Medicare coverage at any time. (42 CFR §418.28.) In addition, we will also determine whether Medicare payments for hospice services were made in accordance with Medicare requirements.

CMS and OIG concerns about hospice have only intensified with the findings from data gathered for use in hospice payment reform efforts.  This data also raises concerns about potential inappropriate utilization of the continuous home care (CHC) level of care and CMS is monitoring CHC utilization trends. The data shows great variation in CHC utilization with only about 43% of hospices billing for CHC with a small number of hospices billing ten percent of their total Medicare days as CHC. 

Given that GIP and CHC are under intense scrutiny, it’s time to ensure that your use of these levels of care are compliant with the applicable regulations. For your benefit, NAHC is sponsoring a web event on Tuesday, June 21.

Web Event: How to Avoid Risk while Meeting Care Needs: Getting Hospice GIP and Continuous Care Right

Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Eastern

Click Here to Register!

Program Objectives:

  • Review the CMS regulations for the GIP and CHC levels of care
  • Identify patient eligibility criteria and expected documentation for each level of care
  • Discuss barriers to the use of GIP and CHC
  • Share applicable scenarios for utilizing each level of care

Panel of NAHC Experts:

  • Katie Wehri, CHC, CHPC, Hospice Operations Expert, NAHC
  • Susan Garcia Strauss, Chief Compliance Officer, HopeHealth, Hyannis, MA
  • Rich Chesney, President and Founder, Healthcare Market Resources, Dresher, PA

As a special bonus, attendees will receive a GIP Audit Tool for use in their agency.

Click Here to Register!




©  National Association for Home Care & Hospice. All Rights Reserved.