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National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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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

Heath 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 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


General Sessions Descriptions

Sunday, July 13, 2014
Opening General Session 
6:30 to 8:00 pm

900. Opening General Session: National Update

The White House and Congress continue to put health care in the spotlight with deficit reduction debates and care delivery reforms. The upcoming congressional elections are focusing on health care, raising every issue from Obamacare to entitlement reforms.  With the full-scale implementation of health care reform under the Affordable Care Act underway in 2014 along with the implementation of many of the ACA reforms to Medicare and Medicaid, 2014 is quickly becoming one of the most important ever in the history of U.S. healthcare. Home Care and Hospice are very well positioned to step forward as prime solutions to what ails our health care system.  However, challenges continue to surface on the regulatory front. This opening session brings Washington to the stage with up-to-the-minute details on the legislative and regulatory landscape along with a forecast of the impact of national politics on health care.


  • Identify the crucial health care issues pending before Congress and the Administration.
  • Detail the innovations underway in Medicare and Medicaid creating opportunities for home care.
  • Discuss the potential impact of the 2014 elections on home care and hospice and the balance of power on health care.

Faculty: Val J. Halamandaris, JD, President, National Association for Home Care & Hospice; William A. Dombi, Esq., Vice President for Law, National Association for Home Care & Hospice; Executive Director, Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association, Executive Director, National Council on Medicaid Home Care, Washington, DC

Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of legislative, regulatory, and legal issues in home care and hospice.

Course Level:  Intemediate; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/RE)


Monday, July 14, 2014
General Session
9:15 to 10:55 am

901. HHFMA Leadership Panel — The Future Belongs to Home Care and Hospice

For over a decade, the annual Financial Management Conference has included a General Session where a diverse group of leaders in home care and hospice offer their views and insights on how to succeed in the ever-changing health care world. The HHFMA Leadership Panel returns for 2014. The accelerating changes in health care delivery and financing necessitate a “hands-on” management by the leaders in home care and hospice companies of all sizes. The HHFMA leadership Panel is the epitome of leadership in that regard and each of the panelists will share their vision of what it takes to adapt and seize the nearly endless opportunities in the evolving world of health care. Whether it is cost efficiency strategies, health care delivery innovations, management modernizations, these leaders are at the top of their games.


  • Identify how and where home care and hospice best fit in transformed health care delivery model and anticipated developments in the future.
  • Describe the advantages and opportunities for home care and hospice to have a commanding role in the new system.
  • Discuss the organizational, technological and financial strategies needed for home care and hospice to address challenges and opportunities in 2014 and beyond.

Moderator: William A. Dombi, Esq., Vice President for Law, National Association for Home Care & Hospice; Executive Director, Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association, Executive Director, National Council on Medicaid Home Care, Washington, DC

Panelists: William J. Simione, Jr., BS, CPA, FHHA, CGMA, Founder, Simione Healthcare Consultants, LLC, Hamden, CT,  William Bassett, BS, Chief Marketing Officer, Procura, British Columbia, Canada; Arnie Cisneros PT, President, Home Health Strategic Management, Lansing, MI; Dexter Braff, MBA, MS, BS, President, The Braff Group, Pittsburgh, PA ; Marcylle Combs, RN, BS, CHCE, President, Foundation Management Services, Denton, TX

Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of health care reform legislation.

Course Level: Intemediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/MAS)


Monday, July 14, 2014
General Session
11:30 to 1:00 pm

902. Healthcare Leadership Panel The Views of Health Care Industry Stakeholders

One of the obvious developments in the delivery and financing of health is the growing integration of payment and services. This General Session is a second year addition to the Conference lineup, with the focus on the wide range of players in health care. The panelists include leaders from the world of Health Systems, Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Physicians and Managed Care. Each can be a partner or competitor with home care and hospice. Care and payment Integration promises more success with partnership than competition for tightening health care dollars. The leaders from these respective health care sectors will share their view of the future of health care and where home care and hospice fits best.


  • Identify the health care delivery reforms underway in health care systems
  • Understand how health care systems and other provider sectors view home health care and hospice services
  • Recognize the opportunities available to home care in the integration of the health care spectrum

Moderator: Robert J. Simione, BS, Managing Principal, Simione Healthcare Consultants, LLC, Hamden, CT

Panelists: Tami Johnson, BS, MS, Division VP of Case Management Services, Kindred Healthcare-Nursing Care Division; Louisville, KY;Michael Swarzman, MA, MBA, Vice President, Clinical Services and Business Development, Assistant Professor, UIC, Graduate School of Public Health, Chicago, IL;Joel J. Reich, MD, FACEP, MMM, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs/Chief Medical Officer
Eastern Connecticut Health Network, Manchester, CT

Course Level: Intemediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/MAS)


Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Closing General Session
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

903. Closing General Session: Financial Managers Open Forum

Once again, HHFMA presents its open, no holds-barred forum meeting to conclude the annual conference. The session addresses any and all issues of interest to the conference faculty and attendees. The insights are endless, all the advice is free and the experience is priceless. All are welcome to attend and get engaged!

A special feature at this year's Closing General Session is a program focused on Medicare Advantage and managed care cost analysis. The Managed Care Task Force Committee of HHFMA has developed an analytical tool that assists providers with the essential task of costing and pricing Medicare Advantage Plan services to assist all providers with network contract negotiations. The tool is based on the nationwide Managed care Survey conducted by HHFMA.

The analycal tool has been designed to identify all of the incremental direct costs by discipline and then weight by each type of visit. The tool also addresses the costs related to:

  • non-routine medical supplies;
  • a telehealth day;
  • the quality staff, and
  • the authorization staff.

The survey captued information by State by carrier/plan and provides results to answer important questions such as:

  • How are services reimbursed, by visit or episode?
  • How do reimbursement rates compare with traditional Medicare?
  • How are medical supplies reimbursed?

The seminar will include a discussion of the survey results and the use of the MA plan Costing and Pricing Tool. Be sure to plan you time at the Financial Management Conference to include this crucial program at the closing session of the conference.

Moderator: William A. Dombi, Esq., Vice President for Law, National Association for Home Care & Hospice; Executive Director, Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association, Executive Director, National Council on Medicaid Home Care, Washington, DC

Panelists: Pat Laff, CPA, Managing Principal, Laff Associates, Hilton Head Island, SC; Paul Giles, BS, Director of Home Health Finance, Dignity Health Care, Yorba Linda, CA ; Christopher Attaya, MBA, FHFMA, VP, Business Intelligence, Strategic Healthcare Programs, Santa Barbara, CA; Dawn Michelizzi, BS.  Controller, VNA of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of health care reform legislation.

Course Level: No CEs or CPEs awarded for this session


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