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National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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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

CMS Launches Hospice COMPARE Quality Website

August 16, 2017 05:34 PM

On Wednesday, August 16, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the highly-anticipated Hospice COMPARE website, giving patients, family members, health care providers and others access to an initial set of seven quality measures for hospice programs across the Nation.  CMS anticipates that Hospice COMPARE will not only help consumers make more informed decisions about where they seek  care, but also encourage hospices to improve the quality of care that they provide.

The measures posted on Hospice COMPARE were approved for use by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and are drawn from Hospice Item Set (HIS) submissions.  CMS has separated the measures into two categories for ease of review (Patient Preferences and Managing Pain and Treating Symptoms).  Following are a list of the measures along with the national rating against which a hospice is compared:

Patient Preferences

  • Patient Treatment Preferences (NQF measure #1641) –National rate 98.3%
  • Addressed Patient Beliefs and Values (NQF measure #1647) – National rate 93.6%   

Managing Pain and Treating Symptoms

  • Screening for Pain (NQF measure #1634) – National rate 93.9%
  • Assessment of Patients Screening Positive for Pain (NQF measure #1637) – National rate 77.7%
  • Screening for Dyspnea (NQF measure #1639) – National rate 97.3%
  • Treating Patients Screening Positive for Dyspnea (NQF measure #1638) – National rate 94.6%
  • Patients Treated with Opioids Given a Bowel Regimen (NQF measure #1617) – National rate 93.3%

The public can search for hospice information by name or location, as well as compare multiple agencies based on their scores and against the national rates. 

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), which has been actively engaged with CMS, provider and other stakeholders throughout the progression toward Hospice COMPARE, greeted its release with enthusiasm. Theresa Forster, NAHC’s Vice President for Hospice Policy & Programs commented, “Launch of Hospice Compare today is a vital step for hospice providers, patients and others throughout the country.  While the initial launch includes only a limited set of process measures, it represents an important step forward in the evolution of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), and sets the hospice program firmly on the road toward greater transparency -- on-par with other Medicare providers.  We anticipate significant changes going forward – including release of important outcomes data from the Hospice CAHPS Survey -- in early 2018.”

Concurrent with the launch of COMPARE, CMS also updated multiple datasets, including Hospice General Information, Hospice National Data, Hospice Provider-specific Data, Hospice CASPER/ASPEN Contacts, and National CAHPS Hospice Survey data.

As is the case with all new public data sets and COMPARE websites, we understand that some information specific to hospice providers may be incorrect.  CMS has recommended that hospices initially contact their assigned CASPER/ASPEN contact to address any discrepancies.  Hospices are also reminded that changes in provider enrollment information must be reported timely to Provider Enrollment and the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC).  Additional information is available here.




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