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National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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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

Legislation Introduced to Congress Would Delay Pre-Claim Review for One Year

September 28, 2016 03:55 PM

A bill introduced on September 28 by Reps. Tom Price (R-GA-6) and James McGovern (D-MA-2) would impose a one year moratorium on the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration (PCR) and requires the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to report to Congress on the impact of the project on patients, home health agencies, physicians, and Medicare spending.

PCR began in Illinois on August 3, 2016 and almost immediately created chaos in the state’s home health agencies (HHA) and their patients. Problems included a 60-80 percent non-affirmed rate, burdensome and time-consuming paperwork, an inefficient electronic system that cannot process the documentation, physician unfamiliarity with what is needed for PCR due to poor education from CMS and their contractor, and considerable cash flow problems at agencies. At least one Illinois HHA has closed due to PCR. This led to HHAs withholding the start of care to patients until a favorable decision is received, resulting in longer hospital stays. 

As Rep. Price wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter to his fellow members of Congress, PCR “is creating barriers to care and forcing providers to incur significant unnecessary burdens to support an overly broad, untargeted, and ineffective demonstration.”

The CMS scheduled PCR to spread to Florida and Texas later this year, with Michigan and Massachusetts following no earlier than the start of 2017. However, earlier this month CMS announced a delay in the spread of PCR, due to pressure from NAHC and the weight of evidence from the Illinois experiment.

The Pre-Claim Undermines Seniors’ Health (PUSH) Actis co-sponsored by Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX-13).

NAHC advocates have spent many hours working with lawmakers and their offices in recent months to alter or end pre-claim review and this bill is only the latest evidence of that hard work. Due in part to NAHC’s efforts, 116 bipartisan members of Congress signed a May 25, 2016 letter to CMS calling for the withdrawal of the original prior-authorization proposal. In addition, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), whom NAHC has worked closely with on this issue, asked at a September 7 House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing on Medicare if the country  would be “aided by a delay in this demonstration so CMS can get their act together?” NAHC also worked with Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) to send a letter to CMS requesting the PCR demonstration not expand beyond Illinois.

In addition, NAHC staffers accompanied Sheila Guither, Sarah Ratcliffe and Micah Roderick – president, executive director and director of public affairs, respectively, for the Illinois HomeCare and Hospice Council on a series of visits to lawmakers on Capitol Hill to build support for opposition to PCR. They met with members of Congress from the Illinois delegation, including Mike Quigley (D-5), Peter Roskam (R-6), Tammy Duckworth (D-8), Jan Schakowsky (D-9), Bob Dold (R-10), Randy Hultgren (R-14), Adam Kinzinger (R-16), Cheri Bustos (D-17), Darin LaHood (R-18), and Senator Mark Kirk (R). NAHC staffers have also met with and contacted numerous other offices.

NAHC and its members are determined to find a superior alternative to PCR. It is possible to root out the fraud we all deplore without punishing patients and home health agencies. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has identified characteristics commonly found in fraud cases, so CMS should concentrate its resources on pursuing those outliers, instead of punishing hard-working and law-abiding home health agencies and their patients. NAHC will continue to insist the PCR Demonstration in Illinois be brought to an end and that its harm not be spread to other states.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is asking everyone to contact their members of Congress and urge them to stand with the 3.5 million Americans who depend on home health services AND support the Pre-Claim Undermines Seniors’ Health (PUSH) Act.

NAHC is committed to staying on this issue and will continue to make the common-sense case against pre-claim review to Congress and the CMS.




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