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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

Telehealth Medicine Bills Introduced in Congress

June 14, 2017 02:47 PM

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced two pieces of legislation late last month to expand access to telehealth services under Medicare.

The Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017(H.R. 2550) and the CONNECT for Health Act of 2017 (H.R. 2556), sponsored by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA-5), Diane Black (R-TN-6), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Gregg Harper (R-MS-3), would make telemedicine more widely available than ever before to Medicare beneficiaries.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has traditionally not encouraged telemedicine, though the restrictions have been eased slightly in the past few years. The law still limits telehealth reimbursement with limitations on geography and covered codes, as well as restrictions on the remote providers who can be reimbursed by Medicare, as well as originating site strictures.

H.R. 2550 would phase in the expansion of telehealth services by:

  • Removing the geographic barriers under current law and allow for the provision of telehealth services in rural, underserved, and metropolitan areas
  • Expanding the list of providers and related covered service that are eligible to provide telehealth services to include respiratory therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, and audiologist  
  • Expanding access to telestroke services, regardless of where the patient is located;
  • Allowing remote patient monitoring (RPM) for patients with chronic conditions such as  heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes; and
  • Allowing the beneficiary’s home to serve as a site of care for home dialysis, hospice care, eligible outpatient mental health services, and home health services.

The CONNECT for Health Act of 2017 would:

  • Expand originating sites for telehealth care
  • Create a Medicare Remote Patient Monitoring benefit for certain high-risk, high-cost patients
  • Lift restriction on the use of telehealth in Accountable Care Organizations, and Medicare Advantage
  • Urge the Secretary of Health and Human Services to evaluate the applicability of telehealth in projects before the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI)
  • Authorize a study on the use of telehealth services once restrictions have been lifted.

Thompson, Harper, Black, and Welch also announced the formation of the Congressional Telehealth Caucus, a bipartisan group that will discuss how best to improve remote care to Americans who need it most.

“Telehealth saves lives and reduces costs; it’s a win-win for both patients and providers,” said Rep. Thompson. “We’ve all seen how technology has made us more connected in our daily lives. These same advances allow physicians to provide more patients with better healthcare—especially patients in rural, difficult-to-access, and underserved communities. Unfortunately, regulations haven’t kept pace with the times. These commonsense, bipartisan policies will allow us to make sure every American gets the best care and the best treatment—no matter where they live. The Caucus will give us a venue to collaborate with our interested colleagues to advance the delivery of care via telemedicine.”

“With an aging population that is placing an unprecedented demand on the health care delivery systems, there is a growing need for finding alternative solutions to deliver quality and affordable health care to underserved and rural areas, like my home state of Mississippi,” said Rep. Harper. “This quality, bipartisan legislation will help reshape the way we think about access to health care in Mississippi and throughout our country and will contribute to the twenty-first century innovations that will bring down costs and tighten the access gap for those who need it most. I am honored to continue to work with Reps. Mike Thompson, Diane Black, and Peter Welch on these important issues.”

“My many years as a nurse, especially my time spent working in long term care, taught me that if Medicare is to provide real benefit to seniors while ensuring real efficiency for taxpayers, it must embrace the advances in technology and innovation that are already taking place across the health care sector.”  said Rep. Black. “That is what telehealth is all about—promoting cost savings and quality care through the use of technology like remote patient monitoring services. Harnessing the power of telemedicine is a win for seniors, a win for providers, a win for taxpayers, and a win for rural Tennessee.”

“All Americans need access to quality, affordable health care no matter where they live.  Federal policy must keep pace with advancements in telemedicine technology,” Rep. Welch said. “Our caucus will strongly advocate for the expansion of cost effective and convenient telehealth services that ensure access to quality health care in rural America.”




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