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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

Home Health and the Return of Congress

September 8, 2017 02:41 PM

Capitol_buildingThe United States Congress returned Tuesday, September 5, to a grueling agenda of must-do items and a deepening discord on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue that threatens the ambitious Republican agenda to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and overhaul the tax code.

One box was apparently checked yesterday, when President Donald Trump surprised his Republican colleagues by agreeing with Senate and House Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on a short-term debt ceiling increase tied to relief for victims of devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Preventing a government shutdown after September 30 is still on the to-do list.

Senate Republicans have been relying on a fast-track budget measure known as reconciliation in their effort to repeal Obamacare, which stalled weeks ago thanks to a decisive vote by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). The parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, ruled that the budget measure expires at the end of the month when fiscal 2017 ends, meaning any repeal effort beyond that date would need 60 votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster. In other words, if repeal and replace is going to happen, it must happen before the end of September.

President Trump — who has repeatedly predicted Obamacare is about to implode — has called for another repeal vote in the Senate, as have GOP conservative hard-liners in both the House and Senate. The Senate HELP committee is set to hold hearings on how to stabilize Obamacare.

Congress is expected to vote on a $7.85-billion disaster aid package for victims of Hurricane Harvey, understood by everyone to be a mere down payment on what ultimately could be a $150-billion tab for the flooding across southern Texas and Louisiana.

When it comes to home health, a new problem has arisen – the Medicare payment rule recently proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The proposed payment rule, set to take effect in 2019, is a significant and untested proposal that will cause widespread disruption to the entire home health industry. According to CMS’s own estimates, the proposed rule will result in a cut over nearly $1 billion annually -- approximately five percent of annual Medicare spending on home health. Simply put, if implemented, this could be a devastating payment model. NAHC will make it Job One to convince CMS to withdraw this proposal and work with stakeholder groups to ensure that a new model is developed and implemented thoughtfully, without hindering access to care.

While the proposed Medicare payment rule will be our number one priority, we will continue to advocate for our other priority legislative issues. For home care, those issues include the Home Health Documentation and Program Improvement Act (resolves the face to face/physician certification documentation issue), the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (allows non-physician providers to order home health services), and the Preserve Access to Medicare Rural Home Health Services Act (rural add-on). While nothing is firmed up, we do feel optimistic about the chances of the Rural add-on being included in a larger package of programs that expire this year and will need to be extended.

For Hospice we will continue to pursue the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), and the Patient Choice and Quality Care Act (PCQC). We’ve received positive signals that the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee is favorable to this measure and will likely soon be holding a mark up session for it.

Stay tuned to NAHC Report for developments on all of these priorities.




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