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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

CHRONIC Care Act Gets Thumbs-Up from Senate Panel and CBO

May 19, 2017 03:10 PM

The Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017 (S.870), got good reviews during a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee hearing earlier this week and a favorable nod from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on May 16, 2017.

The main purpose of the CHRONIC Care Act, sponsoredby Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), is to reduce Medicare costs by improving chronic disease management services and care coordination at home.

The committee voted 26-0 to support the CHRONIC Care Act and Senator Hatch vowed to “get this bill through” during his closing remarks.

The CHRONIC Care Act also got good news from the CBO, which is responsible for scoring legislation to determine whether or not it will add to the deficit. The CHRONIC Care Act would not add to the deficit, according to a preliminary cost estimate from the CBO.

The legislation would increase access to telehealth for Medicare patients with chronic illnesses and create incentives for patients to receive care via accountable care associations (ACOs). The bill would also extend the Independence at Home (IAH) demonstration to allow people to remain in their homes rather than in institutionalized settings. The Act would also permit reimbursement for more social services and non-health, and permanently extend the MA Special Needs plans that assist chronically ill patients.

Ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) noted during the hearing that seniors suffering from more than two chronic conditions simultaneously (such as heart disease and diabetes) account for more than 90 percent of Medicare spending. Reforming health care policy to better serve seniors with chronic illnesses is “premier challenge of American health policy.”

A major advantage of the CHRONIC Care Act, according to Wyden, is that it allows more care to be provided at home and with an emphasis on primary care and non-physician providers. Wyden also emphasized the need for people with chronic illnesses to have an advocate to help “guide them through what can be a teeth-gnashing experience of navigating American health care.”

Other important points made during the hearing include:

  • Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) all said Medicare is behind the times in note using more telehealth and remote patient monitoring, citing the opportunity to better serve patients will saving money;
  • Senator Wyden said providers are frustrated with the lack of guidance as to who to turn when trying to coordinate care for chronically ill patients;
  • Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) cited medication as the most prevalent way chronic illnesses are treated and noted the CHRONIC Care Act directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the extent of which Medicare Part D and private payers use programs that synchronize pharmacy dispensing schedules, so that that individuals who are prescribed multiple drugs may receive their medications on the same day to facilitate counseling services and promote medication adherence;
  • Senator John Thune (R-SD) said the inclusion of a number of telehealth provisions found within the CONNECT for Health Act into the CHRONIC Care Act is a “step toward improving Medicare beneficiary access to timely and effective health care”;
  • Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) highlighted Section 102 of the CHRONIC Care Act, which expands access to home dialysis therapy, noting this would be particularly helpful in rural regions.

“This is a formal recognition that this package of services - the focus on care at home, the focus on new technology, the expanded role for primary care and prevention, which inevitably leads to more non-physician providers - is the beginning of our push to update the Medicare guarantee,” Senator Wyden told Medpage Today. “That's why it's transformative."

Wyden added that he believes the overwhelming show of support in the Senate for the CHRONIC Care Act will speed its passage in the House of Representatives, as well.

Stay tuned to NAHC Report for updates on this legislation.




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