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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

NAHC & Allies Send Letter to Congress Urging Changes to Proposal on Value Based Purchasing in Post-Acute Care Settings

September 16, 2016 09:40 AM

On September 15, NAHC and other members of the post-acute care (PAC) community sent a letter to House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) to urge that important changes be made to the Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act of 2015 (H.R. 3298).

The legislation would create an incentive pool for four post-acute settings – home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals.  When the legislation was first introduced in 2015, NAHC and other post-acute care organizations expressed concerns with the program.  Concerns included that the program does not adhere to the implementation timeline that was established under the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014, quality measures (rather than just a focus on spending) should be narrow and include at least one measure focused on patient outcomes, and the withhold amount in a program should not be more than two percent at full implementation.

While NAHC and its allies remain committed to advancing PAC value-based purchasing (VBP), we cannot support the bill without changes that will improve it for patients and providers. We would like to see the following changes made to the bill:

VBP scores should be focused on patient outcomes, not resource use. No more than ten percent of a provider’s score should be based on resource use. Implementation of a PAC VBP program should be delayed until the outcomes measures, called for by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014, are implemented and shown to be good indicators of quality.

Wait for the appropriate cross-setting IMPACT Act measures to be fully-implemented. H.R. 3298 should adhere to the IMPACT Act’s implementation timeline, ensuring that the cross-setting measures that would be necessary for implementing this legislation have been fully developed, validated and vetted. Post-acute payment reform must be informed by the evidence.

Make the PAC VBP program budget-neutral. A PAC VBP program should be focused solely on improving quality of care and the best way to do that is to reinvest all withheld payments in the form of incentive payments to be redistributed into the particular payment system from which they came.

Make the payment withhold percentage fair and consistent with other VBP programs.

The withhold percentage should be consistent with the hospital VBP program. Therefore, we recommend it being at one percent in year one, rising in quarter-percentage increments to two percent in year five.

Remove the geographic resource use comparison so patients have equitable access to post-acute services nationwide. If too much attention is placed on provider costs, providers and beneficiaries in some areas of the country will be at a significant disadvantage because of variations in labor and property costs, regardless of the quality of care they are providing. 

You can read the text of the letter here.

NAHC will continue to monitor the legislation, express concerns and provide suggestions to the Ways & Means Committee. 




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