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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

Key Legislation Affecting Home Care and Hospice

Home Care

Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (allows NPs/PAs to sign home health plans of care.) H.R.1825, S.445

Preserve Access to Medicare Rural Home Health Services Act (extends the payment increase (add-on) for Medicare home health services in rural areas through 2021.) S.353

Medicare Home Health Flexibility Act (allows home health agencies the flexibility to open cases and conduct initial assessments when skilled nursing care is not provided.)

Home Health Documentation and Program Improvement Act (requires CMS to develop a standardized form for beneficiary eligibility; allows a home health agency to complete the form to be reviewed and signed by the referring physician.)


Rural Access to Hospice Act (would provide for rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to receive payment for  hospice attending physicians services).  S. 1828

Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (would amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the number of permanent faculty in palliative care education programs.) S. 693, H.R.1676

Care Planning Act (would provide assistance to individuals with serious health conditions by giving them access to more information about potential treatment options and ensuring that the course of treatment they arrive at is consistent with their personal goals, values and preferences.)

Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act (would grant Medicare beneficiaries, upon election of hospice care, the right to select their PAs to serve as their attending physicians for purposes of hospice care.) H.R.1284

Hospice CARE (Commitment to Accurate and Relevant Encounters) Act (allows hospices to utilize PAs and other appropriate clinicians to perform the required face-to-face encounter, and also provide additional time for hospices to complete the face-to-face encounter when exceptional circumstances occur.)


Ensuring Access to Affordable and Quality Home Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act (would restore the companionship services exemption) H.R. 3860 S. 2221

Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act (eliminates the Independent Payment Advisory Board.)

American Job Protection Act (repeals the employer mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.) H.R.849, S.260

Medicare DMEPOS Market Pricing Program Act (establishes a market pricing program for durable medical equipment (DME), prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) as a replacement for the Medicare competitive bidding program.)

Medicare Skilled Nursing and Home Health Services Continuity of Care Act (revises Medicare coverage and payment for advanced surgical dressings in home health settings, allowing separate payment to be made as a durable medical equipment prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies benefit.)

Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (repeals the Medicare outpatient rehabilitation therapy caps.) H.R.253, S.807

Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act (proposes a Home Health Value-Based Purchsing program that would impose an incentive/penalty range of as much as 5 to 8 percent over a 5-year period—NAHC opposes this bill)

Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act (addresses concerns that the scheduled expansion of the small group market to include employers with 51-100 employees will result in premium increases for mid-sized employers.) S. 838, H.R. 1958

Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (implements the Commission on Long-Term Care’s bipartisan recommendation that Congress create an advisory body to develop a national strategy which supports family caregivers.)

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