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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

Vaccine Reimbursement Guidelines for Home Health Agencies

September 1, 2016 09:48 AM

As agencies gear up for the 2016-2017 influenza season, questions often arise regarding the reimbursement rates and coverage policies for providing the flu vaccine to home health patients and the community.

Influenza vaccines are reimbursed under the Medicare Part B vaccine benefit. Home health agencies (HHAs) may not bill for the vaccine and its administration on a home health claim-type of bill (TOB) 32x. HHAs bill for the vaccine and its administration using the home health claim TOB 34x regardless if the vaccine is provided to a home health patient or a patient in the community. HHAs may also Roster bill for providing influenza vaccines. See the Medicare Claims Processing Manual,chapter 18, for Medicare payment policies related to the influenza vaccine.

There are two payment rates agencies must consider when providing vaccines: payment for the vaccine itself and payment to administer the vaccine.

HHA are reimbursed for the vaccine on a reasonable cost basis. Other than application of the lower costs or charges provision, Medicare recognizes the reasonable, allowable cost for the vaccine.

If, however, the Medicare contractor believes that the HHA has unreasonably incurred cost for the vaccines—or otherwise has not been a prudent buyer—it is up to the HHA to support that the costs are reasonable. If it cannot, the contractor will not recognize the unreasonable portion of the incurred cost.

Reimbursement for the vaccine administration for HHAs is based on the outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) vaccine administration rate, which is determined each calendar year (CY). Sixty percent of the rate is wage adjusted using the hospital wage index for the core based statistical area (CBSA) where the service is provided. The 2016 OPPS rate for the influenza vaccine administration is $30.87.  A new rate for CY 2017, beginning January 1, 2017, will be issued with the final payment rule for the OPPS.

To determine the amount the HHA will be reimbursed for the vaccine administration, the agency will need to use the hospital wage index that applies to the CBSA where the service is furnished and adjust 60 percent of the national unadjusted payment for vaccine administration by the applicable wage index. 

For example, the 2016 national unadjusted payment rate is $30.87. If the hospital wage index for the applicable CBSA is .99, payment to the HHA will be $30.68:

$30.87*.6 = $18.522 (the portion to be wage adjusted);
$18.522 *.99 (the wage index) =$18.33678 (the wage adjusted portion of the payment);
$18.33678 + $12.348 (the 40% of the national unadjusted payment that is not wage adjusted) = $30.68 (after rounding).

Click herefor the Med Learn Matters© “QUICK REFERENCE INFORMATION: Medicare Immunization Billing” for influenza vaccine and vaccine administration billing codes.

 

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