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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

Senators Praise CMS Proposal to Implement HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act

July 26, 2016 01:48 PM

U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ed Markey (D-MA) recently praised a proposal by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that would effectively implement their legislation, the Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act. The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act would require the Medicare program to cover an initial comprehensive care plan for beneficiaries newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The Senators introduced the bipartisan legislation in March 2015. In June 2016 the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee approved a FY2017 funding bill for the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies, which contained the legislation (see previous NAHC Report article here).

In a press release, the Senators said the new benefit would encourage doctors “to give a clear diagnosis to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, including information about treatment options and what medical and community services are available.”

“The news that care planning sessions for Alzheimer’s patients and their families will be covered under Medicare is a victory for those across West Virginia and the nation who are battling this devastating disease,” said Senator Capito. “Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be very overwhelming, and this provision will provide patients and their caretakers with the information they need to make informed decisions about treatment options.”

“This announcement is hugely important to those living with Alzheimer's disease and the loved ones who help care for them every day,” said Senator Stabenow. “My HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act called for care planning sessions for Alzheimer’s patients and their families and I’m pleased that CMS is now proposing to cover these vital services under Medicare.  While there's more work to be done in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, this is a strong sign that additional support and services are on the way.”

"By allowing Medicare beneficiaries to receive a care planning session, this proposed rule would provide essential support for newly-diagnosed individuals and their families who are facing Alzheimer’s,” said Senator Collins.  “I am pleased that CMS has recognized the importance of this benefit, which was one of the provisions in our HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act.  As the Co-Chair of the Senate Alzheimer’s Task Force, I will continue to work to ensure that Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers have the support they need.”

"This proposal is a huge step toward fulfilling the mission of the HOPE Act. Early detection, a documented diagnosis and access to care planning services are key to helping ensure better outcomes for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers,” said Senator Markey.  “The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act gives patients exactly that, hope - for a diagnosis that will help them get connected to critical resources and manage other chronic conditions they are likely to face. This proposal when finalized will mean patients, caregivers and families can learn what treatments are available and plan for the challenges that lie ahead."

Similar legislation was also introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) along with 301 cosponsors.

CMS has proposed the new service to begin in calendar year 2017.




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