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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

NAHC to Senate: Health Care Reform Must Include Access to Home Care

June 16, 2017 04:10 PM

Val Halamandaris, the President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) wrote a letter to the leaders of the United States Senate this week to express concern that the health care reform currently being debated in Congress does not adequately address the vast and growing home care needs of America’s rapidly aging population.

The people served in home care include the most vulnerable citizens in the United States, with many receiving end of life care through hospice, essential services through home health agencies, and crucial support for Activities of Daily Living through hardworking personal care attendants and home care aides.

For more than 35 years, Congress and the Administrations under both Republican and Democrat leadership have strived to ensure that the infirm and persons with disabilities have full opportunities for care outside of an institution. Former Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama all took steps to expand access to home care as a cost-effective, high quality health care solution. Throughout, these Administrations had widespread, bipartisan support from Congress. Those actions established a guiding principle for any health care or health insurance reform—access to home care is essential. Home care is the bedrock of health care and it brings security and well-being to the nation.

The U.S. still have a long way to go before we reach the stage where all impediments to care in the home are removed. Under Medicaid, 24 states still spend more on institutional care than on home care. It was not until 2015 that the balance of such spending finally favored home care over institutional care.

Still, in some states nearly 70% of Medicaid spending on long term services and supports is directed to costly nursing home services for patients who can be safely cared for with less expensive home care.

In reviewing the American Health Care Act (AHCA), as passed by the House of Representatives, there are serious concerns that access to home care is not a priority. For example, the bill eliminates an important Medicaid option, the Community First Choice benefit, which encourages states to shift spending to cost effective home care. Numerous states have embraced that new benefit. Still, the failure of some states to offer a robust home care option is evident even with the financial incentives under the Community First Choice program. The current per capita caps formula will be a roadblock to the expansion of access to home care in Medicaid. The elimination of the Community First Choice benefit is, as well.

Nowhere in the House bill is home care presented as the national health policy priority that both parties have espoused for many years. Instead, the House bill presents the risk that the opportunity for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive needed care in their home will be compromised and, potentially, lost, as Medicaid home care benefits are optional.

In addition, while most states currently offer hospice services to their Medicaid populations, this benefit also remains an optional one. Absent any requirement that states offer a meaningful end-of-life benefit, imposition of caps or other limits on funding for Medicaid services will create tremendous pressure on states, and will place existing coverage of hospice care at serious risk.

NAHC respectfully recommends that the Senate take all necessary steps in its health care reform efforts to preserve and advance access to home care.

Stay tuned to NAHC Report for updates on this critical topic.

 

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