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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

CMS Clarifies NOE “Corrections” Policy, MACs Issue Revised Guidance

August 8, 2016 02:30 PM

Since implementation of the timely-filing requirement for hospice Notices of Election (NOE) and Notices of Termination/Revocation (NOTR) in October 2014, numerous problems resulting from the required use of Direct Data Entry (DDE) for submission of NOEs/NOTRs have emerged. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has provided the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) analysis that may pave the way for CMS to allow for electronic submission of NOEs and related transactions. In the interim, NAHC, CMS, the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and others are working to modify existing policies that are resulting in increased costs and lost revenue to hospice providers. CMS has recently issued a clarification to the MACs that will help in this regard.

As part of instructions related to timely submission of NOEs, the MACs have historically told hospice providers that if information (such as the principal diagnosis or physician) is entered on a NOE and that information later changes, the hospice need not “correct” the diagnosis code by cancelling and resubmitting the NOE. Instead, the hospice may just enter the newly-established principal diagnosis on the subsequent claim. However, if the information entered on the NOE is incorrect at the time it is entered, the MACs previously instructed hospice providers to cancel the NOE and resubmit with the correct information.  Cancellation of the NOE and resubmission will very likely result in late acceptance of the NOE, which means that the hospice will sustain some financial losses for early days of care. As an example, following is a previously posted instruction from one of the HHH MAC websites relative to NOE submission:

Question: If an NOE was submitted timely, but information on the NOE is determined to be incorrect (physician name, diagnosis code, etc.) what action should be taken and will the NOE that was filed initially meet the timely filing requirement?

Answer: If the information has simply changed (certifying physician changed or diagnosis code changed), you do not need to cancel the NOE.

If, however, the information on the processed NOE is truly incorrect (wrong doctor, wrong diagnosis code, etc.), the NOE should be canceled (type of bill 8XD). Once the NOE has been canceled, submit a new NOE with the correct information. Canceling and resubmitting the NOE will result in an untimely NOE. In this case, keep documentation of the action you took and why. If you choose to request an exception by submitting HCPCS modifier 'KX', the documentation can be submitted for consideration when determining whether it meets the CMS indicated exceptions. Note that for an exception to be granted, the documentation must show that the late filing of the NOE was beyond the control of the hospice. Billing errors are not considered a valid exception request.

Very recently, CMS conducted outreach to the HHH MACs to clarify that, in cases where NOEs have been submitted with incorrect principal diagnosis codes or physician names, it is not necessary for the hospice to cancel the NOE and resubmit it; rather, the hospice may wait for the subsequent claim to provide the proper principal diagnosis or physician name. CMS does stress that it expects that information provided on the NOE is free of transcribing errors, and strongly encourages hospices to initiate quality assurance measures regarding the accuracy of the NOE information to mitigate any potential untimely NOEs.

Following is current information excerpted from the HHH MAC websites related to the recent clarification:

National Government Services (NGS):

Correcting Diagnosis Codes

  • If an incorrect diagnosis code is mistakenly entered on the NOE and accepted by the system, providers do NOT need to/should NOT cancel and submit a new NOE. A corrected diagnosis would need to be put on the claim. 

Correcting Attending Physician

  • If an incorrect attending physician NPI is entered on the NOE, the NOE does NOT need to/should NOT be cancelled and resubmitted. The correct attending physician NPI will need to be put on the claim.

CGS:

Update to FAQ on Timely Filing of Notices of Election: CGS has updated a frequently asked question (FAQ) after receiving clarification about situations where an incorrect physician name, and or diagnosis code is submitted on the notice of election (NOE). If the information has simply changed or a keying error occurred, the NOE does not need to be canceled and resubmitted. Instead, corrections to diagnosis codes and certifying physicians on the NOE may be made on subsequent claims. To view the updated FAQ, access the “Change Request 8877 Frequently Asked Questions” Web Page and select FAQ #7 under the “Timely Filing of Notices of Election (NOE)” heading.

PALMETTO:

Question: What process should be followed when a NOE has to be changed after it is initially filed? For instance, this can happen when the attending physician or principle hospice diagnosis changes soon after admission. Will the initial filing of the NOE be "retained" in the system so that when a revised NOE is filed the five-day edit won't be a problem or would any corrections just be made on the first claim?

Answer: If the information has simply changed or a keying error occurred on the certifying physician or diagnosis code, you do not need to cancel the NOE. Corrections to diagnosis codes and certifying physicians on the NOE may be made on subsequent claims. Since there is no editing in Medicare systems that ensures the diagnosis codes and certifying physicians on hospice claims match the NOE, hospices can correct diagnosis coding and certifying physicians errors on subsequent claims, without canceling the NOE.

Hospices are reminded that in cases where a hospice has recently submitted an NOE that they discover has an error that will result in a return to provider (RTP) when it hits edits in CMS’ systems (for example with incorrect beneficiary information), the hospice need not wait for the NOE to RTP to submit a corrected NOE. Taking this action on a timely basis may in some instances help a hospice avoid loss of payment for the first few days of care due to late “receipt” of the NOE.

 

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