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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

NAHC & Allies Send Letter Urging Congress to Stop Medicare Cost Increase

September 28, 2016 03:56 PM

The National Association of Home Care & Hospice and a group of about 75 health care and employee groups sent a letter to Congress on September 27 urging lawmakers to prevent an increase in out-of-pocket health care costs for some Medicare recipients in 2017.

According to the 2016 Medicare Trustees Report, Part B premiums are currently scheduled for a big increase in 2017, from $121.80/month this year up to $149/month, a bump of 22 percent. The trustees also estimate the Part B deductible will rise from $166 to $204 next year for all enrollees.

The increase is happening because of a “hold harmless” provision that forbids Medicare Part B premium increases from being larger, in dollar amount, than the beneficiary’s Social Security cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA). This rarely matters because Social Security benefits are much larger than a beneficiary’s Part B premium. However, last year there was no COLA at all and this year the COLA is expected to be about 0.2 percent. Therefore, the hold harmless provision may be triggered and leave about 30 percent of beneficiaries with a substantial increase in their Medicare Part B premium and deductible. That 30 percent would have to foot the bill for a premium increase that would normally be spread among all Medicare beneficiaries.

It is very possible, though not certain, that the increases will occur and we will know more next month, but NAHC is preparing for the worst. “We are deeply concerned by the projected Plan B premium and deductible increases, most notably for current and newly eligible beneficiaries living on low and fixed incomes," reads the letter to lawmakers.

“Newly enrolled Medicare beneficiaries, those not collecting Social Security benefits – many of whom are retired public servants – and state Medicaid programs should not be expected to carry the burden of paying for increased costs in Part B through higher premiums and cost sharing.”

The 30 percent affected are:

  • New Medicare beneficiaries;
  • Beneficiaries who have not started receiving Social Security;
  • Low-income beneficiaries who have their premiums paid by Medicaid;
  • High-income beneficiaries who pay higher premiums between 35 and 80 percent of program costs; and
  • Certain state and local employees who do not participate in Social Security.

The legislative fix required to remedy this situation is fairly simple, involving the modification of the 2017 safeguard put in last year’s budget deal to apply even with a COLA that is low, but not zero.

We will continue to monitor and advocate on this issue so stay tuned to NAHC Report for further developments.

The letter was embargoed, but leaked anyway and published elsewhere. NAHC is abiding by its promise not to publish the letter while it is under embargo. However, we will add the letter to this story as soon as the embargo is lifted.




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