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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

New CMS Data Contains Wealth of Hospice Information

August 22, 2017 06:18 AM

Recently updated data sources from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provide in-depth detail on hospice payments, utilization, and patient demographics at the individual hospice and state levels, as well as market saturation data for hospices and other provider types. 
 
The releases are part of CMS’ efforts to achieve greater transparency in healthcare.  The CY 2015 Hospice Utilization and Payment Public Use File (PUF) contains information on utilization, payment, submitted charges, primary diagnoses, sites of service, and hospice beneficiary demographics organized by CMS Certification Number (6-digit provider identification number), and by state.  When this data for CY2014 was first released during 2016, it represented some of the most detailed hospice data available to the public. This PUF is based on information from CMS’s Chronic Conditions Data Warehouse (CCW) data files. The data in the Hospice PUF covers calendar year 2015 and contains 100% final-action (i.e., all claim adjustments have been resolved) hospice claims for the Medicare population including beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Although the Hospice PUF has a wealth of payment and utilization information about hospice services, the data set also has a number of limitations. The information presented in this file does not indicate the quality of care provided by individual hospice providers – it only contains cost and utilization information. Additionally, the data are not risk-adjusted and thus do not account for differences in patient populations. The Hospice PUF contains two tables:

  1. Aggregated information by provider: Medicare Provider Aggregate Table, CY 2015, Microsoft Excel (.xlsx), and
  2. Aggregated information by state: Medicare State Aggregate Table, CY 2015, Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)

Additional in formation and access to all currently available Hospice PUF data may be accessed here.  Inquiries regarding this data can be sent to MedicareProviderData@cms.hhs.gov.

The Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool includes interactive maps and supporting data sets that show national-, state-, and county-level provider services and utilization data for five reference periods and covering 12 different health service areas, including hospice. 

Market saturation refers to the density of providers of a particular service within a defined geographic area relative to the number of beneficiaries receiving that service in the area. The Market Saturation and Utilization Data can be used by CMS to monitor market saturation as a means to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. The data can also be used to reveal the degree to which use of a service is related to the number of providers servicing a geographic region. Provider services and utilization data by geographic regions are easily compared using an interactive map. There are a number of research uses for these data, but one objective of making these data public is to assist health care providers in making informed decisions about their service locations and the beneficiary populations they serve.

The following metrics are included in the interactive map:

  • Number of Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries
  • Number of Providers
  • Average Number of Users per Provider
  • Percentage of Users out of FFS Beneficiaries
  • Number of Users
  • Average Number of Providers per County

The map will update based on the selection of reference period, health service area, metric of interest, and color scale to indicate states and counties independent of moratoria status (Single Color Scale) versus states and counties based on their moratoria status (Color by Moratoria Status).

 

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