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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

35 NAHC Forum States Associations Lend Support to Rural Access to Hospice Act

NAHC Legislative Action Center Campaign Urges House/Senate Co-sponsorship
September 23, 2016 02:01 PM

Under Medicare law, a patient electing hospice care has the right to declare his or her personal physician or nurse practitioner (NP) as the “hospice attending physician” so that the physician/NP can continue to treat the patient’s terminal and any related conditions even after admission to hospice.  This provision of law was included under the hospice benefit so that the hospice patient maintains continuity of care with a known health practitioner.  In many cases this gives hospice patients and their families the comfort needed to elect hospice care and receive the valuable services this benefit has to offer.

Unfortunately, while Medicare law allows a rural health clinic (RHC) or federally-qualified health center (FQHC)-employed physician or NP to act as a patient’s attending physician, RHCs and FQHCs may not bill for hospice attending physician services even when the services are medically necessary.  As a result, since many RHC and FQHC-employed physicians and NPs do not bill independently to Medicare Part B, these practitioners cannot be paid for their services as a hospice attending physician.

In recent months, members of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives have introduced companion legislation (S. 2786/H.R. 5799, The Rural Access to Hospice Act of 2016) that would address this statutory oversight by allowing RHCs and FQHCs to bill Medicare for hospice attending services provided by their physician and NP employees when they are working on behalf of the RHC or FQHC.    The Senate version of the legislation (S. 2786) was introduced by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and is currently cosponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen D-NH), Patrick J. Leahy (D-T), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY).  The House bill (H.R. 5799) was introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), and is currently cosponsored by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Suzan K. DelBene (D-WA), Scott R. Tipton (R-CO), Peter Welch (D-VT), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Brad Ashford (D-NE), Gregg Harper (R-MS), Steven M. Palazzo (R-MS), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA).

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and 35 members of its Forum of State Associations have cosigned letters (read them here and here) the sponsors and cosponsors of S. 2786/H.R. 5799 to express appreciation for their efforts in support of this important legislative change and these letters were recently conveyed to Capitol Hill.  Special thanks go to the following state associations for their involvement in this effort: 

National Association for Home Care & Hospice                  

Arizona Association for Home Care (AZ)

California Association for Health Services at Home (CA)

Home Care Association of Colorado (CO)

Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home (CT)

Home Care Association of Florida (FL)

Georgia Association for Home Health Agencies (GA)

Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HI)

Illinois HomeCare & Hospice Council (IL)

Indiana Association for Home and Hospice Care (IN)

Kansas Home Care Association (KS)

Kentucky Home Care Association (KY)

Home Care and Hospice Alliance of Maine (ME)

Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts (MA)

Michigan HomeCare & Hospice Association(MI)

Minnesota Home Care Association (MN)

Missouri Alliance for Home Care (MO)

Missouri Hospice & Palliative Care Association (MO)

Montana Hospital Association (MT)

Nebraska Home Care Association (NE)

Home Care Association of New Hampshire (NH)

New Mexico Association for Home and Hospice Care (NM)

New York State Association of Health Care Providers (NY)

Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina (NC)

The Carolinas Center for Hospice & End of Life Care (NC)

LeadingAge Ohio (OH)

Ohio Council for Home Care & Hospice (OH)

Oregon Association for Home Care (OR)

The Carolinas Center for Hospice & End of Life Care (SC)

South Carolina Home Care & Hospice Association (SC)

Tennessee Association for Home Care (TN)

Utah Association for Home Care (UT)

Utah Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (UT)

VNAs of Vermont (VT)

Virginia Association for Home Care & Hospice (VA)

Home Care Association of Washington (WA)


NAHC has also developed an email campaign available on its Legislative Action Center and encourages hospice providers and other stakeholders to encourage their Senators and Representatives to join in sponsoring this legislation.  The campaign, titled “Support the Rural Access to Hospice Act of 2016 (S. 2786/H.R. 5799)” is available here.




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