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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

Study Finds Heavier People Get Less Hospice Care 

February 13, 2017 02:13 PM

The heavier a person is, the less likely they are to be treated with hospice care, according to a new study of 5677 senior citizens from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The researchers studied how the seniors’ body mass index (BMI), a measure of obesity, corresponded to their end-of-life medical treatment, such as the use of hospice services. The seniors studied were all Medicare beneficiaries who died between 1998 and 2012. None were long-term residents of a skilled nursing facility.

Almost half of the seniors studied were above ideal weight, with 31 percent in the “overweight” category (a BMI between 25 and 29.9), 15 percent classified as “obese” (BMI between 30and 40) and two percent called “morbidly obese” (BMI over 40).

The higher a person’s BMI, the less likely that person was to enter hospice at all, according to the study. Furthermore, obese people who did use hospice care still spent less time in hospice than those with a lower BMI.

About sixty percent of the seniors in the study died at home, which is what most Americans say would be their choice. Thirty-eight percent of seniors in the study used hospice, but patients with a BMI of 40 used hospice less than 23 percent of the time. Patients with a BMI of 20, which is considered normal or good, used hospice 38 percent of the time, on par with the average for study participants as a whole.

Seniors with higher BMI also, on average, cost more Medicare dollars than seniors with a lower BMI. In the last six months of life for a person with a BMI of 30, Medicare spent about $46,500 – or roughly $3500 more than was spent on someone with a BMI of 20.

The study did not analyze why obese people received less hospice care, though Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H., a study author and professor at the U-M Medical School, believes “obesity may mask the signposts and changes that physicians might use to determine when it is time for a person to enter hospice.” In addition, Griggs says “it can require more staff to take care of people who are obese, but Medicare hospice reimbursement is capped no matter what a person’s BMI.”

“Many policies focus on preventing or reducing obesity in the U.S., but we will also need policies to encourage the provision of high-quality care for people with obesity,” says John Harris, M.D., M.Sc., who led the study during a fellowship at U-M.

 

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