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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

Heath 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

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

CMS Needs Volunteers to Field Test Standardized Assessment Items

September 26, 2016 02:17 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an opportunity for post-acute care (PAC) providers (Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals (LTCHs), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), Home Health Agencies (HHAs), and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs))to field test standardized data set items in domains required by The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT Act)

The IMPACT Act requires the submission of standardized data for specific assessment categories and quality measure domains using the assessment instruments currently required for use by LTCHs, SNFs, HHAs, and IRFs. The IMPACT Act requires the modification of these assessment instruments to enable the submission of such standardized data, and requires that the data be interoperable to allow for the exchange of data among post-acute and other providers. The standardization that results is intended to serve many purposes, including comparison of data and payment system analyses for evaluations and recommendations for reimbursement based on individual characteristics rather than care setting.

CMS has contracted with the RAND Corporation and its partners, Abt Associates Inc. and Qualidigm, to develop and test standardized assessment-based data elements for PAC settings.  Abt Associates will be seeking providers in each of the four PAC settings to participate in testing the standardized data elements.  This testing will be conducted in three different waves.  The first wave of data collection is currently being conducted in the Hartford, Connecticut area.  Wave 2 will begin in January 2017 in three markets including areas in and around Houston, Texas, Chicago, Illinois and Denver, Colorado.  The third wave of data collection, slated to begin in July 2017, will be a large, national scale test, covering approximately 14 different markets; the geographic locations for the third wave of data collection have not yet been determined.

Abt Associates is now in the process of recruiting providers for the second wave of data collection in and around Houston, Chicago and Denver to begin in late January 2017.  In each of these three markets, Abt staff will be contacting several of each type of PAC provider, with the goal of recruiting one SNF, one HHA, one LTCH and one IRF in each market for participation in the second wave of data collection.

Participation in the field data collection is completely voluntary and providers who do not wish to participate will not be penalized in any wayPAC providers who participate in the field testing will be provided an honorarium for their participation, and will have the opportunity to support efforts to transform and modernize the health care system.

To participate in this project, the agency will need to identify two to three staff members, preferably clinical staff who routinely conduct patient assessments, to participate in a day and a half-long training session on the assessment items and conduct up to two assessments (e.g., admission and discharge) on approximately 20 patients during a ten-week data collection period. Participating providers will also need to accommodate field research nurses who have been hired and trained by the RAND team for this data collection, as they complete their own series of assessments to evaluate validity of the items and conduct inter-rater reliability.  The field research nurses will need access to the provider’s medical records; if the provider has electronic medical records, they will need to arrange for access to those electronic records.  A provider agreement will be required to document participation in the field work and provide a mechanism for transfer of the honorarium from RAND to participating providers.

This brief Fact Sheet provides more about the project and the field testing.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) strongly encourages agencies in Texas,  Illinois and Colorado to participate in the field testing if they are contacted by Abt.   Provider input is crucial to understanding the ability of the assessment items to work in the home health setting and across other PAC settings.




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