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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

Kansas Governor Proposes Restoring Medicaid Cuts, Increasing Hospital Tax

August 26, 2016 06:41 AM

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) said on August 17 he would be willing to restore four percent cuts to KanCare reimbursement rates if the state legislature increases the provider tax, a fee to hospitals. KanCare is the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

“I look forward to working with the legislature to restore the four percent cut in reimbursement rates and will call on them to pass an increase in the provider tax,” the governor said in a statement. The announcement came a day after the state canceled public meetings to discuss the KanCare cuts.

The federal government provides $1.28 to Kansas for every dollar the state spends on Medicaid so the provider rate cuts led to a loss of over $70 million in federal aid. Some of that federal aid would be restored by restoring the rate cuts.

Kansas is one of 19 states that reject expanded eligibility for Medicaid, a decision that has cost Kansas more than $1.3 billion, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Under pressure to balance the state’s budget, Governor Brownback announced the payment cut to some KanCare providers in May, with the cuts taking effect in July. The $56.3 million in Medicaid reductions was part of almost $100 million in spending cuts Brownback ordered to eliminate a projected deficit in the fiscal year 2017 budget.

“The Governor’s announcement of cuts to the KanCare program amounts to a broken promise
to the people and the health care providers of Kansas,” the Kansas Hospital Association said in a statement. “The Governor’s announcement will undoubtedly make some providers question whether they can continue to participate under such circumstances. Ultimately, and most importantly, that will threaten access to care in Kansas.”

This is the third time Brownback has attempted to negotiate provider tax increases to address budget shortfalls, but both previous attempts met fierce resistance from hospitals, who said they could only agree to the tax increase if the money was used to fund Medicaid expansion, something the governor refuses to do.

A 2014 study commissioned by the Kansas Hospital Association found expanding KanCare would generate $2.2 billion in additional federal money, more than Kansas would need to cover the state’s share of the expansion cost for five years.

Many healthcare professionals in Kansas have called for Medicaid expansion as a way to improve access to care and also ease the state’s budget shortfalls that have led to sharp spending cuts. There is also concern that Brownback’s plan would place an additional tax burden on the very caregivers he says he wants to help.

Primary elections in early August resulted in moderate Republican candidates ousting more than a dozen of Brownback’s close allies in the state legislature, leaving advocates of Medicaid expansion hopeful they can move a plan through the legislature and to Brownback’s desk.

Dan Hawkins, the Republican who chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee says rolling back the provider cuts will be his “first job” when the state legislature returns from recess. While Hawkins does not support KanCare expansion, he is willing to repeal some of Brownback’s tax cuts to small business owners or raise taxes on the three private companies awarded state contracts to manage the KancCare program. Brownback has voiced his strong opposition to rolling back any of his tax cuts.

In his statement last week Governor Brownback pointed out the financial vulnerability of some rural health care providers.

“Our rural hospitals face many challenges, caused primarily by declining Medicare reimbursement rates. Initiatives like our Rural Health Working Group are looking at the broader issues facing rural health care and identifying solutions that will be presented in early 2017,” the statement said.

 

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