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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

SPECIAL REPORT: Senators Call for Pre-Claim Review Demonstration Delay and Changes

September 1, 2016 04:24 PM

A bipartisan pair of senators from Florida today wrote to Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator for CMS, expressing concerns with the Medicare home health pre-claim review (PCR) demonstration project.  The letter from Senators Bill Nelson (D) and Marco Rubio (R) calls for the Florida demonstration (expected to begin October 1) to be delayed to allow for sufficient time to monitor and evaluate the demonstration’s effects in Illinois.  This letter comes on the heels of reports of significant problems and consequences with the PCR demonstration so far in Illinois.  NAHC and the Home Care Association of Florida worked closely with the Senators’ offices to gain their support on the effort to rescind the pre-claim review project.

The letter from the senators highlighted the need to protect patients and expressed concerns “this demonstration may restrict beneficiary access to timely services, divert clinical resources to paperwork management, and incur high administrative costs.”  In addition to requesting a delay, the letter recommended a scaled-down version of the PCR demonstration, should it move forward.  The senators also called attention to simpler changes that could improve documentation error rates.

Senators Nelson and Rubio previously joined their colleagues in sending a letter to CMS expressing concern for the original proposal of the initial prior authorization proposal.

The text of the letter expressing concerns about the PCR demonstration is below:

Dear Acting Administrator Slavitt,

We write to express our concerns regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Pre-Claim Review Demonstration (PCRD) being implemented in five states, including Florida, for home health services. While the PCRD modestly modified the earlier prior authorization proposal, we remain concerned this demonstration may restrict beneficiary access to timely services, divert clinical resources to paperwork management, and incur high administrative costs. We urge CMS to delay expansion of PCRD into Florida and the other states until CMS, stakeholders, and Congress have the opportunity to evaluate and understand the impact of the demonstration in Illinois.

It is important that we learn whether the demonstration improves documentation error rates without adversely impacting patient access to care. The potential October 1, 2016 start date in Florida should be delayed to allow for sufficient time to monitor and evaluate the demonstration’s effects in Illinois.

We share your concern with the improper payment rate and your commitment to protecting taxpayer funds while also improving program integrity. Yet, we are concerned that the PCRD may not fully address the root cause of these errors. We have heard from stakeholders who believe there are simple changes that can be implemented to achieve the goal of reducing improper payments, including the identification of the nature and cause of documentation errors and implementing targeted changes to underlying policy.

Should CMS subsequently choose to move forward with a PCRD in Florida, we encourage you to consider a scaled-down approach that would be less resource intensive for smaller home health agencies, better protect patients, and essentially achieve comparable outcomes. For example, home health providers in our state have suggested a random selection of a small percentage of Request for Anticipated Payment submissions for pre-claim review. This would require all home health agencies to be ready to comply with the PCRD, alleviate the workload on MACs and providers, and provide CMS with the same information it currently seeks through implementation of the PCRD.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to working with you to improve improper payments without disrupting patient care or access.

You can read the Senators’ actual letter, which NAHC has been working on for months, right here.




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