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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

Demand for Home Care Outstripping Supply

June 15, 2017 03:33 PM

The needs of seniors and disabled citizens for home care workers is growing much faster than the number of direct care workers, raising the specter of Americans being forced out of their homes to receive the care they deserve, according to a new report.

The new State Scorecard report from the SCAN Foundation, Commonwealth Fund and AARP ranked each state (and Washington, D.C.) based on their performance on long-term service and supports (LTSS) in five areas:

  1. Affordability and access,
  2. Quality of life and quality of care,
  3. Choice of setting and provider,
  4. Support for family caregivers,
  5. Transition between nursing homes, hospitals and homes.

Ominously, most states achieved no “meaningful change” in making home care more affordable or available and the cost of LTSS over the long term continues to be unaffordable for many middle class families. Most adults do not have long-term care insurance in the private sector.

The state of Washington ranked first in the United States for LTSS, with Minnesota, Vermont, Oregon and Alaska rounding out the top five. The worst state in the union for LTSS, according to the report, was Indiana, with Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee filling the other five spots at the very bottom of the list.

A major point of concern is that most of Medicaid LTSS funding for seniors and the disabled went to nursing homes, which is hardly the most efficient way to care for the elderly and contrary to the wishes of about 90 percent of Americans, who say they prefer to age in their own homes and communities.

Some states devote more Medicaid funding to home-and-community-based services (HCBS), such as Minnesota, which spent 69 percent of its Medicaid dollars on HCBS in 2014. Alabama, however, devoted a mere 14 percent of its Medicaid funding to HCBS in the same year.

The share of Medicaid spending being devoted to HCBS in 2014 was 41 percent, an increase from 39 percent in 2011. Disappointingly, only 10 states spent more on HCBS than they did on nursing homes. Progress is being made in this area, but it is slow progress.

The lack of funding for HCBS is exacerbating the staffing problem we see in home care and hospice. For example, the five states with the fewest home and personal care aides will need 34 years to equal the number of aides in the five states with the most workers.

Only 24 states “significantly increased” the number of home and personal care aides, meaning most places in the country will need to ramp up their hiring and training of home health workers to have any hope of keeping pace with the growing demand.

Overall, 29 states showed impressive improvement in delivering LTSS in the home to new HCBS patients. The up-and-comers in this area include Montana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Iowa, Delaware, Louisiana and Vermont – all showing significant improvement in delivering LTSS to new patients. However, there continues to be a massive gap in achievement, with 80 percent of new Medicaid beneficiaries receiving HCBS in the top five states, but only 30 percent receiving such care in the bottom five states. Clearly, much remains to be done to spread LTSS and HCBS around the country.

“Overall, states have made incremental improvements,” the report concluded, “but must pick up the pace of change to meet the needs of a growing number of people aging and living with disabilities.”




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