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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

Hospice Quality Updates and Deadline Reminders

August 5, 2016 09:00 AM

May 10 Hospice QRP Webinar -- Post-Training Materials Available:  Post-training materials from the May 10 HQRP webinar are now available under the download section of the Hospice QRP Training webpage. These include the PowerPoint presentation with answers to polling scenarios and a Q&A document.  A recording of the webinar is posted on YouTube.

This webinar details HQRP submission requirements including the HIS- related and Hospice CAHPS requirements, provides useful insights into how to download and use the Hospice Final Validation Reports and other Certification And Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) reports available to providers, and assists providers in understanding how to interpret error messages and correct errors. It also includes a demonstration of the Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES) Assessment Submission and Processing (ASAP) system.

Hospice Item Set (HIS) Notices

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted several new and updated resources online related to the Hospice Item Set (HIS): 

Question and Answer (Q+A) Document for the Second Quarter of 2016 Now Available:  A new Question and Answer (Q+A) documentis now available in the “Downloads” portion of the HIS webpage. The Q+A document reflects frequently asked Hospice Item Set (HIS) related questions that were received by the Quality Help Desk during the second quarter (April-June) of 2016. This document also contains quarterly updates and events from the second quarter as well as upcoming updates for the next quarter.

Timeliness Compliance Threshold Fact Sheet:  An updated version of the Timeliness Compliance Threshold Fact Sheetis now available in the “Downloads” portion of the HIS webpage.  This updated fact sheets contains information on the new Hospice Timeliness Compliance Threshold Report, which is a CASPER report that allows providers to check their preliminary compliance with the 70/80/90 compliance threshold.

Latest Version HQRP QM User’s Manual:  CMS has also posted the latest version of the HQRP QM User’s Manual in the Downloads section of the Current Measures page. For a direct link to the document, please go here

Hospice CAHPS Notices

2016 CAHPS Hospice Survey Training:  The 2016 CAHPS Hospice Survey Training will be conducted on September 28, 2016, so please mark your calendars! Additional details related to the upcoming training will be posted on the CAHPS Hospice Survey Web site ( closer to the scheduled training date.

REMINDER:  CAHPS Hospice Survey Participation Exemption for Size Form Deadline is August 10!  Hospices that are too small are exempted from participation in the CAHPS Hospice Survey. Hospices that served fewer than 50 survey-eligible decedents/caregivers during calendar year (CY) 2015 (January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015) can apply for an exemption for the CY 2016 CAHPS Hospice Survey data collection and reporting requirements (associated with the fiscal year [FY] 2018 annual payment update [APU]). The Participation Exemption for Size Form will be available to complete online until August 10, 2016. This form is required to be submitted for the FY 2018 APU if a hospice is to be eligible for the exemption for size.  Exemptions for size are active FOR ONE YEAR ONLY!  For additional information, please go here

REMINDER: CAHPS Hospice Survey Quarter 1 2016 Data Submission Deadline is August 10!  The deadline for survey vendors to submit CAHPS Hospice Survey Quarter 1 2016 (patient deaths in January, February and March 2016) data is August 10, 2016. Survey vendors are responsible for successfully submitting files by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on August 10, 2016.  Additional information is available here.




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