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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

Senate Health Bill Could Do Great Harm to Home-and-Community-Based Services

July 17, 2017 01:40 PM

The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate Republican plan to dramatically alter “Obamacare,” will, if it becomes law, endanger home-and-community-based services for millions of Americans due to severe Medicaid cuts, according to analyses by NAHC and other responsible and reputable sources.

Happily, the BCRA instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to encourage states to adopt or extend home-and-community-based services Medicaid waiver programs, which allow seniors and the disabled to remain in their own homes. However, the BCRA still includes steep Medicaid cuts of around $770 billion over ten years, which would equal a 26 percent cut in funding by 2026 and ballooning to a 35 percent reduction by 2036. It is very difficult to see how HHS can plausibly encourage states to increase home-and-community-based services (HCBS) in the teeth of such severe Medicaid spending reductions.

The BCRA would limit future Medicaid spending with a per capita cap – capping funding at a certain amount per beneficiary – and the amount of money allocated would rise year-to-year less than the current projection for Medicaid per capita costs, according to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections. That means the cuts would be real and would accelerate with time, likely growing larger every single year. According to the CBO, states struggling to pay the bills with a drastically reduced federal contribution would almost certainly be forced to restrict eligibility, cut provider payments, and eliminate optional services.

Elimination of optional services is of particular concern to the home health community, of course. (States currently increase or reduce funding for optional services based on budgetary concerns.) The biggest share of Medicaid funding for optional services provides home-and-community-based services (HCBS) to the elderly, disabled and ill.

Nursing home care must be provided to all eligible beneficiaries, but the same is not true of home-and-community-based services. Despite official HHS prodding of states to shift funding to HBCS and LTSS, state governments would inevitably be compelled to return to spending the bulk of Medicaid money on institutional care, forcing people out of their homes against their will.

The share of Medicaid funding for long-term services and supports (LTSS) rose from less than 20 percent in 1995 to 55 percent 20 years later, allowing three million people to remain in their own homes rather than be forced into institutional care. The need for HCBS will continue to grow as the population increases and ages. The Silver Tsunami – 10,000 people turning 65 every single day and many more people surviving into advanced old age, when health care costs grow faster – will not be cheap.

However, as noted above, the per capita caps on Medicaid funding would not rise to account for an increase in per beneficiary costs.

Additionally, the per capita caps will put similar pressure on hospice because it is also an optional service under Medicaid. Over 40 states offer hospice services through Medicaid, but, faced with per capita caps, those states might come to see nursing homes as a viable alternative to hospice.

This does not have to happen. Please use the NAHC Legislative Action Center to tell your members of Congress to reject Medicaid cuts in any health care reform legislation. It takes only a few moments and millions of home health patients and providers could be depending on it.

 

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