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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

Home Health Care Has Endured a Series of Rate Cuts Since 2009

September 11, 2017 02:51 PM

Home_Health_Rate_CutsThe proposed Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM), which is poised to wreak havoc on the home health care industry, is only the latest in a series of rate cuts since 2009 that threaten to deprive millions of Americans of what they want – quality and affordable health care that allows them to age in place and remain in their homes.

In fact, the Medicare home health sector has experienced more rate cuts over the last decade than any other health care sector in the Medicare program and is the only provider type that has not had an increase in Medicare reimbursements since 2009.

YEAR

SUMMARY OF RATE REDUCTIONS

2009

2.75% reductionfor case mix adjustment

2% annual reductionfor failure to submit OASIS data

2010

2.75% reductionfor case mix adjustment

10% capon outlier claims with 2.5% national cap (applies to all future years), mandated under the ACA

2011

1% reductionto Market Basket adjustment mandated by the ACA

3.79% reduction for case mix adjustment

2012

1% reductionto Market Basket adjustment mandated by the ACA

3.79% reductionfor case mix adjustment

2013

1.32% reduction for case mix adjustment

1% reductionto Market Basket adjustment mandated by the ACA

2% cutdue to sequestration

2014

2.7% reductiondue to annual ACA-mandated rebasing cut

0.6% reductiondue to grouper charges

2% cutdue to sequestration

2015

2.4% reductiondue to annual ACA-mandated rebasing cut

0.5% reduction to due ACA-mandated productivity adjustment

2% cutdue to sequestration

2016

2.4% reductiondue to annual ACA-mandated rebasing cut

0.4% reductiondue to ACA-mandated productivity adjustment

0.97% reductionfor case mix adjustment

2% cutdue to sequestration

2017

2.3% reductiondue to annual ACA-mandated rebasing cut

0.3% reductiondue to ACA-mandated productivity adjustment

0.97% reductionfor case mix adjustment

2% cutdue to sequestration

2018

1.7% reductionto market basket adjustment as mandated by MACRA

0.97% reductionfor case mix adjustment

0.5% reductionfrom expiration of the rural add-on

Expected 2% cutdue to sequestration

 

Any new cuts to home healthcare could result in the loss of home health services in many parts of the country. In the absence of home health care services, many beneficiaries will have no choice but to seek post-acute and long-term care in more expensive care settings. In addition, the cuts could interfere with the successful use of home health services as a means to reduce hospital re-admissions. Cuts to home health also threaten important healthcare sector jobs.

The CY 2018 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Proposed Rule for the Home Health Agency Prospective Payment System (HHPPS) includes the Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM), which will result in additional cuts to home healthcare if implemented as proposed.

Implementing a totally new payment system that significantly cuts Medicare home health, with virtually no input from the industry, puts both vulnerable home health beneficiaries and quality providers at significant risk.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) urges the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to withdraw the HHGM policy and instead work with stakeholders to develop a fully budget-neutral policy that does not limit access to beneficiaries or diminish provider resources.

This issue is NAHC’s top priority and will remain so until the policy is improved. Please stay tuned for further analysis and news about NAHC advocacy on behalf of our members and the millions of aged and disabled Americans they serve.

However, to defeat this payment rule before it brings havoc to the industry, we need home health leaders, employees and patients to make their voices heard by policymakers in Washington, D.C. Without your support and advocacy, this rule cannot be stopped. Please go to the NAHC Legislative Action Center and ask Congress to tell CMS to withdraw the payment rule.

 

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