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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

OIG Alleges Maryland Submitted $10.9 Million in Non-Compliant Claims for Personal Care Services

May 1, 2013 08:21 AM

In April, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG HHS) released audit findings claiming that Maryland submitted non-compliant claims for personal care services under its home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver.  Based on a sample size of one hundred claims, OIG HHS estimated that from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010, Maryland improperly claimed $10,864,195 out of a total amount of $67,248,404 in claims to the federal government.

Of the 100 claims in the sample size, OIG HHS found that 20 claims had errors.  In total, there were 24 errors in the sample size, as some claims had multiple errors.  Of the 24 errors, fifteen (15) had an unqualified personal care aid, four (4) had an unapproved or missing plan of care, four (4) had unauthorized services, and one (1) had undocumented services.  Out of the 15 that had an unqualified personal care aid, eleven (11) did not have a CPR certification, ten (10) did not have a first aid certification, four (4) did not have a criminal background check, and in one (1) the aid performed nursing functions by administering medications but lacked medicine aid certification.  OIG HHS also concluded that Maryland lacked sufficient ability to monitor local agencies and to submit solely allowable claims to the federal government.

This OIG HHS report follows two other reports which provided audit findings of personal care services claims from personal care service providers.

January Report of Immaculate Heart of Mary-PCS in Louisiana: $820,000 in Improper Claims

In January, OIG HHS released audit findings claiming that Immaculate Heart of Mary-PCS (Immaculate), a personal care services provider in Louisiana, improperly claimed at least $820,096 out of a total $5,971,657 in claims to the federal government from October 1, 2006 through March 31, 2009. 

Of the 100 claims in the sample size, OIG HHS found that 72 claims had errors, with some claims having multiple errors.  Of those 72 claims, 46 claims were provided by employees who failed to complete training requirements during the State’s required timeframe.  However, since these employees obtained the required training by the time services were rendered, OIG HHS did not include these 46 claims in its overpayments estimate.  Services were either partially or fully unallowable due to being provided by employees who:  failed to meet the State’s training requirements by the dates of service (17 claims), or failed to meet minimum education and experience requirements (8 claims).  Four (4) claims were erroneous due to insufficient documentation to support the number of units claimed.  

OIG HHS found three reasons for the improper claims: “1) Immaculate did not follow all of the State agency’s employee qualification requirements, 2) Immaculate did not ensure that units claimed were properly supported, and 3) the State agency did not effectively monitor its personal care services providers for compliance with the State agency’s requirements.”

March Report of The Whole Person, Incorporated in Missouri: $140,000 in Improper Claims

In March, OIG HHS released audit findings claiming that The Whole Person, Incorporated (Whole Person), a personal care services provider in Missouri that provides only consumer-directed services, improperly claimed $143,397 out of a total $4.9 million in claims to the federal government from October 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009. 

Of the 100 claims in the sample size, OIG found that 9 had errors, with some claims having more than one error.  OIG HHS alleged that Whole Person: did not perform an assessment or reassessment within required timeframes for six (6) line items, had a missing or unapproved plan of care for six (6)  line items, and could not prove proper training of the consumer/beneficiary for one (1) line item.   

OIG HHS attributed the errors to Missouri’s Department of Social Services and Department of Health and Senior Services, and Whole Person not sufficiently monitoring the personal care services program to ensure compliance with Federal and State regulations.


Home health providers should be aware that despite increased enforcement efforts, personal care service providers continue to face allegations of improper Medicaid billing, which cover a wide range of root causes including: unqualified personal care aides, unapproved or missing plans of care, unauthorized services, and undocumented services.  Stakeholders should be aware of OIG HHS’ increased auditing of personal care services, and providers should redouble their efforts in compliance.  Home health providers are encouraged to keep abreast of program integrity initiatives in their states, as well as nationally, and to contact NAHC with any questions or concerns.

For the full OIG HHS reports, click here, here, and here.




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