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National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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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

CMS to Begin Field Testing Standardized Assessment Data Across PAC

July 9, 2016 08:48 AM

The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (The IMPACT Act of 2014) requires the submission of standardized data for specific assessment categories and quality measure domains using the assessment instruments CMS currently requires for use by Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals (LTCHs), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), Home Health Agencies (HHAs), and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs). The IMPACT Act of 2014 requires the modification of these assessment instruments to enable the submission of such standardized data, and requires that the data be interoperable to allow for the exchange of data among post-acute and other providers in order to facilitate person-centered care, coordinated transitions in care, enable access to longitudinal information, and ensure high quality outcomes.

The standardization that results from the IMPACT Act of 2014 requirements is intended to serve many purposes, including comparison of data and payment system analyses for evaluations and recommendations for reimbursement based on individual characteristics rather than care setting. The IMPACT Act of 2014 also conveys the inclusion of person-centeredness in its requirements related to capturing the consumer’s preferences and goals across settings of care, and provides an opportunity to further the goals of the CMS Quality Strategy.

To this end, CMS has contracted with the RAND Corporation and its partners, Abt Associates Inc. and Qualidigm to develop, modify, implement, and align post-acute care (PAC) assessment data across the PAC-setting assessment instruments. In addition to extensive information gathering and input from stakeholders and subject matter experts, the work of the RAND team includes field testing of standardized data elements among PAC providers to test the validity of the standardized data elements and the feasibility of collecting the items in all four PAC settings. Testing will focus on the following assessment domains:

  • Cognitive function, such as ability to express ideas and to understand, and mental status, such as depression and dementia.
  • Special services, treatments and interventions such as the need for ventilator use, dialysis, chemotherapy, central line placement and total parenteral nutrition.
  • Medical conditions and co-morbidities such as diabetes, congestive heart failure and pressure ulcers.
  • Impairments, such as incontinence and an impaired ability to hear, see or swallow.

Abt Associates will be seeking providers in each of the PAC settings to participate in the field testing, which will be conducted in three different waves. Participation in field testing is completely voluntary; providers who do not wish to participate will not be penalized in any way. The first wave of data collection is anticipated to begin at the end of July 2016 near Houston, Texas and Hartford, Connecticut. Wave 2 is anticipated to begin in January 2017, and Wave 3 is anticipated to begin in summer 2017. At this time, the geographic location of Waves 2 and 3 is not yet known.

For each wave of field testing, a sample of providers in the targeted geographic areas will be drawn based on characteristics such as size, location (urban vs. rural), and profit status. Staff from Abt Associates will contact sampled providers to seek their voluntary participation in field testing.  Participation in the testing will require providers to identify up to two staff members, preferably clinical staff who routinely conduct resident/patient assessments to participate in a one and a half-day training on implementation of the assessment items, complete data collection on 15 new admissions within a ten-week data collection period, and accommodate research nurses as they complete their own series of assessments to evaluate inter-rater reliability and validity of the assessment items. PAC providers who participate in the field testing will be provided an honorarium for their participation and will have the opportunity to support efforts to transform and modernize the health care system to achieve CMS’ vision of promoting effective, efficient, high quality care for beneficiaries, through the use of standardized, reusable data.

If your agency/facility is asked to participate in field testing, we strongly encourage your participation in this important project.




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