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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

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

New CMS Report Contains Wealth of Hospice Information

October 13, 2016 09:36 AM

A new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) details the different levels of hospice spending in states around the country.
The release is part of the Obama Administration’s efforts for greater transparency in healthcare.  The Hospice PUF contains information on utilization, payment, submitted charges, primary diagnoses, sites of service, and hospice beneficiary demographics organized by CMS Certification Number (6-digit provider identification number), and state.  This represents some of the most detailed hospice data available to the public.  Although the Hospice PUF has a wealth of payment and utilization information about hospice services, the data set also has a number of limitations. For instance, there is no information on levels of care other than routine home care (RHC) and there is no quality data.  Additionally, the data are not risk adjusted and thus do not account for differences in patient populations. Providers may be interested in viewing the methodology document.

The report, The Hospice Utilization and Payment Public Use File (or Hospice PUF), contains information on 4025 hospice providers, 1.3 million hospice beneficiaries and over $15 billion in Medicare payments from 2014.

Medicare spent an average of $11,393 per hospice beneficiary for an average of 70 days of care in 2014. Eleven percent of the 1.3 million hospice beneficiaries that year had a live discharge from care. Meanwhile, 33 percent of beneficiaries spent more than 60 days in hospice care and 13 percent spent more than 180 days in hospice care.

Southern states spent the most per beneficiary, with South Carolina in first place, spending $14,778, followed closely by Alabama at $14,361 and Mississippi at $14,100 per beneficiary.

The three states with the lowest spending per hospice beneficiary were Wyoming ($7132), South Dakota ($7252) and Alaska ($7442).

Southern and southwestern states led the way with the highest percentages of live discharge from hospice care. (A live discharge from hospice care may be due to a change in the terminal prognosis, to resume treatment or to change hospice providers.) Mississippi had the highest rate of live discharge, at 20.6 percent. South Carolina followed close behind at 18.3 percent. The lowest rate for live discharge was in Kentucky (7.1 percent), with Illinois, Ohio and North Dakota not far behind.

Southern states also tended to have a higher percentage of hospice beneficiaries receiving more than six months of hospice care in 2014. The highest rates of six or more months of hospice care were in Alabama (18.4 percent), South Carolina (18.1 percent) and Mississippi (17.2 percent). The lowest rates of six or more months of hospice care in 2014 were Wyoming (5.4 percent), South Dakota (5.8 percent) and Alaska (6.6 percent). The Medicare hospice benefit is designed for beneficiaries with a terminal medical prognosis of six months or less.

In all, there were 92.3 million hospice care days in 2014. There were 142,000 live discharges, about 11 percent of the total number of beneficiaries. Twenty-seven percent of hospice beneficiaries spent seven or fewer days in hospice care, about 354,000. The largest group of hospice beneficiaries was those who spent between 60 and 180 days in hospice care – about one-third of all beneficiaries.




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