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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

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


Concurrent Sessions - 100 Series

101. Medicare Payment Rate Rebasing 2014 and 2015 Style — What you know and what you should know!

The last few years in Medicare home health payments have presented many challenges with payment rates and cash flow.  There are still many changes and challenges facing home health financial mangers in the years ahead.  This program will discuss impacts on agencies since the beginning of 2014 with rate cuts and what agencies have done to cope.  The program will also discuss how to prepare for the future.


  • Gain of understanding of the impact on home health agency operations of the PPS rebasing payment cuts.
  • Identify the changes that agencies have had to make to cope with the payment cuts.
  • Identify strategies going forward to prepare for future reimbursement squeezes.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

102. How to Build an Effective Palliative Care Program

The past several years have seen a significant increase in interest, demand and development of programs that serve patients that do not elect or meet eligibility criteria for home health or hospice, and would otherwise fall between the cracks of traditional health care service lines.  Palliative Care and Advanced Illness Management (AIM) programs, remain an enigma because they lack specific regulations or guidance in terms of setting, reimbursement, operations, stage in the disease process, or delivery models.  Many homecare organizations are eager to develop such programs but are uncertain how to proceed given the lack of clear structure and reimbursement.  This session will review the goals, models and reimbursement for Palliative Care and Advanced Illness Management programs, and provide guidance on the start-up and funding considerations for these programs. 

This session is based upon a HHFMA White Paper on Palliative Care and draft/final copies will be shared with participants who attend this session. The white paper is intended enable you to determine the overall feasibility of creating a great palliative care program at your agency.


  • Identify key variables in models of palliative care/advance illness management.
  • Articulate the primary payment sources and mechanisms for palliative care services, including data that will help you to   negotiate with various payment sources, including health systems and insurance companies.
  • Describe key steps and inputs to assessing the feasibility of a palliative care program

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

103. Change Management in home care and hospice

Home care and hospice are in a perpetual state of change. Over the years, the changes have included dramatic reforms in the Medicare home health benefit, intensified scrutiny of compliance requirements in hospice, shifts in payers to managed care, staffing challenges with nurse shortages, business adjustments with the ACA employer mandate and new overtime requirements for personal care aides to name just a few. Nevertheless, many home care and hospice organizations found a way to cope with these challenges through change management techniques. This program focuses on what it takes to successfully adjust to the specific types of changes we see in home care and hospice. It drills down from the high-level views covered n the General Session into the granular ingredients to change management.


  • Identify the home care and hospice specific resources needed for effective change management
  • Recognize the human elements of change management in home care and hospice
  • Identify the steps needed for an efficient change management process. 

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

104. I Know I am Spending on Sales, What Am I Getting for My Investment?

This session will focus on managing a company’s sales force, including compensation methods, productivity, and sales strategies.  Cost of sales, cost per admission and accountability for results are discussed along with managing the ROI on sales and marketing activities.  This program looks at the financial management and modeling of sales and marketing and how to reduce costs while increasing admissions.


  • Discover how to financially manage the sales and marketing program
  • Identify the cost per admission as an important management metric
  • Determine the true return on investment from sales and marketing
  • Leave with benchmarks, KPIs and tools to manage sales and marketing program

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

Concurrent Sessions - 200 Series

Anchor201. Financial Risks in Medical Review: Responding, Reacting and Rebounding

Medical review is a complicated process of sending documentation and responding to Additional Documentation Requests.  The financial risks are high with potentially severe cash flow and long term viability issues for the agency.  This program will identify the current focus areas for ADRS and responding to each one.  Specific financial risks will be discussed regarding potential denials and their devastating results to viability.  All agencies will find this an important program to attend to prepare for medical review!


  • Identify focus areas of documentation examined in the ADR process.
  • Discuss the agency process of responding to an ADR .
  • Identify potential financial risks of ADRS.
  • List strategies to prepare for claim review before the request is made.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

202. Hospice Revenue Growth

Hospices can generate new revenues in 3 ways—find new patients who had not previously used hospice, take market share from a competitor and increase average length-of-stay.  A hospice must evaluate which strategy best fits its situation. Hospices need to assess their market and determine which approach is best.


  • The soon to be published hospice quality data will give providers a way of differentiating themselves versus their competition.
  • Approximately 7% of all Medicare patients who are discharged from hospitals die within 30 days.  Most of those do not enter hospice, but die in hospitals or other facilities
  • While average length of stay has increased in the past decade, median length has not change.  Too many patients are admitted to hospice in the last few days prior to death in crisis.  Palliative care or advanced illness programs can capture referrals earlier in the disease progression.  Also advertising has proven successful in increasing family referrals, which usually Have a longer LOS.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

203. Risk Sharing in Medicare: Can it Work for You?

One of the key elements of health care delivery innovations is the sharing of financial risks between providers and payers. Medicare offers risk sharing in Accountable care Organizations, Post-Acute Care Bundling, and a wide assortment of demonstration programs. Medicaid is tipping its toes into risk sharing arrangements and managed care organizations are already engaged in shared savings programs with a variety of provider types. Is risk sharing right for your organization? How does it work? What tools do you need? How much risk can you take? What are the possible financial benefits in the short-term and long term? This program explores all those questions and more.


  • Recognize the trends occurring in shared risk health care models
  • Identify what the relevant factors are in determining whether risk sharing is a good fit for your organization.
  • Identify the risk sharing models that are likely to be a significant part of the future in health care.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

204. Successful Managed Care Negotiation Strategies using Accurate Costs and Win-Win Pricing!

Successful negotiations of Managed Care contracts require being “PRICED RIGHT” and having the “RIGHT SERVICES” and the “RIGHT OUTCOMES”. Using the comprehensive tool developed by the HHFMA Managed Care Task Force, the costing of services and their price point development will be thoroughly explained, considering all of the necessary cost increments that are incorporated to develop a Win-Win proposal that works for both parties!  Presentation of successful negotiation proposals and strategies will help guide you in developing the approaches for your agency in its quest to profitably contract with MCOs and ACOs. This course will provide the skills you need to negotiate with the MCOs and ACOs.


  • Identify the sources of the necessary financial  information and operational statistical data required for completion of the Tool;
  • Learn how to complete the tool and estimate the necessary gross margin for your agency’s proposal to be financially viable;
  • Identify those products and services most desired by the MCOs and ACOs that match your agency’s clinical outcomes and HH-CAHPs strength.
  • Learn several approaches to proposals and negations that have been successful and could be for your agency.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

Concurrent Sessions - 300 Series

301. Home Health Services Revenue Cycle Management

This session will assist agencies in evaluating the effectiveness of the revenue cycle.  Review of back office structure will occur and highlights of a compliance review of your revenue cycle will be detailed with an audit tool.  Patient care is the core of home health, but agencies must have an effective revenue cycle in order to ensure they are properly paid for the care provided.


  • Outline the structure of an effective Revenue Cycle Team
  • Detail Work Flow of the Revenue Cycle Team
  • List items needed to evaluate compliance in the revenue cycle.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

302. The Power of Benchmarks:  Using Benchmarks to Drive Hospice Performance Improvement

As Medicare continues to squeeze payment rates, increase regulatory requirements, and consider revisions to the benefit and payment model, hospice leaders are searching for ways to improve their financial and operational performance.  Benchmarks can be a powerful tool to help identify where hospice agencies have an opportunity to improve.  The trick is knowing how to use the benchmarks to your advantage and actually improve performance.  This program will help provide you with the approach and tools for using benchmark data to improve the performance of your hospice agency.


  • Identify the key performance indicators that drive success in hospice
  • List the sources for benchmarks in hospice
  • Outline the process for benchmarking your agencies’ performance
  • Implement performance improvement initiatives using benchmarking efforts

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

303. Critical Revenue Growth Strategies for Home Care Agencies

Revenue growth is critical to agencies in today’s environment. Reimbursement cuts have necessitated expense reductions but there are limits to which expense reductions can be made. Agencies must be able to increase revenue to offset the reductions and continue to adapt to the changes happening in the current market. This program contains information on a number of strategies developed by members of the Innovations Committee drawn from diverse home care operators.


  • Gain an understanding of strategies to maximize the value of the PPS episode
  • Apply techniques and strategies to grow viable commercial and managed care revenue
  • Improve knowledge of strategies to increase revenue by development and participation in the new payment models such as bundling and accountable care.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

304. The Compliance Landscape: What CEOs and CFOs Need to Know

One of the essentials for any home care or hospice organization is a high level of compliance success. This program is designed for the high management level executives who face the consequences of compliance failure and need to manage the staff that handles compliance on a day to day basis. It will focus on risk factors, red flags, process vulnerabilities, and management breakdowns that C-level executives must address if staff performance is to achieve the intended compliance outcomes that are desired and expected. The focus will be on compliance management, not ground-level compliance standards.


  •  Identify compliance risk areas in claims, quality of care, employment practices, patient referrals, and marketing practices.
  • Recognize common vulnerabilities in documentation practices.
  • Identify processes for C-level evaluation and oversight of compliance risks

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

Concurrent Sessions - 400 Series

Anchor401. High Quality Care and Positive Patient Outcomes Result in Positive Financial Outcomes – Now Prove It With Data!

To achieve high quality care AND a positive bottom line you must implement a clinical management structure that  manages by outcomes data and internal clinical protocols.  These protocols will insure appropriate clinical staff oversight and timely outcome driven remote case conferencing.   The strategies for clinical and financial success must also include a primary care clinical model and a well designed Quality program that is integrated throughout your organization.  This program identifies the roadmap to success and the steps to get you there and prepare for Value Based Purchasing!


  • Identify an optimum clinical and case conference model that is consistent with an efficient and cost effective Primary Care Clinician model, including staff to supervisor ratios and their responsibilities.
  • Discuss the components of an optimum Quality Review department, responsible for all OASIS and coding activities as well as any QAPI requirements as identified in the Proposed Conditions of Participation.
  • Review reporting by clinician that indicates successful clinical and financial outcomes or opportunities for improvement.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

402. Hospice Revenue Cycle: Optimizing Compliance & Effectiveness

Hospice regulatory requirements have become increasingly complex in recent years and 2014 was no exception, with substantial changes occurring to Medicare billing requirements.  These requirements are expected to continue to change and the Medicare hospice benefit continues to receive heightened scrutiny from CMS and program integrity contractors.  It is critical that hospice providers take time now to examine the revenue cycle processes to identify potential threats to compliance and cash flow, as well as to prepare for expected future regulatory changes.

This session will focus on strategies for optimizing the revenue cycle process by examining and applying industry revenue cycle performance benchmarks, analyzing typical revenue cycle compliance threats, and assessing strategies for ongoing monitoring of revenue cycle performance, including reviewing strategies for periodic compliance audits.


  • Identify typical compliance threats that routinely surface in the hospice revenue cycle.
  • Apply hospice revenue cycle performance benchmarks.
  • Apply strategies for effective ongoing oversight and management of the hospice revenue cycle, including periodic hospice compliance audits.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

403. Value Based Purchasing Begins in 2016 – Will You Be Ready?

The 2015 Home Health Final Rule includes the provision to begin Value Based Purchasing (HH VBP) beginning January 2016 in 5 – 8 yet to be identified states and providers. The proposed revenue adjustment is also between 5-8%, which represents the potential payment holdback, as well as the potential bonuses and penalties to the providers, all based upon Home Health Compares outcomes and HH-CAHPs results.  This program will help you to evaluate your agency’s potential exposure to the penalties and opportunities for bonus based upon your current measureable clinical performance and where your results will likely need to be. It will also discuss the cash flow issues related to the payment withhold and give you some background on what we can learn from the 2008/2009 HHP4P demonstration and Hospital VBP programs.


  • Identify the potential parameters of this program, the proposed implementation and the potential financial exposures using the experience of the HHP4P demonstration and Hospital VBP provisions as a guide;
  • Determine the methods of identifying your agency’s current ongoing clinical outcomes and HH-CAHPS performance and where you need or want them to be;
  • Identify what your agency should be doing now to create improvement and implement plans to better position yourself to be successful in this expected new program.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

404. From “Oh, No!” to “Way to Go!” : A Path to Staff Accountability

This program focuses on staff accountability. It will provide participants with the tools needed and the confidence to have effective conversations with staff and to bring about positive change to the organization.  The program will help you minimize the impact of the poor performers and negative naysayers in your agency and help keep the focus on providing quality care and ensuring strong financial outcomes. The session will focus on the gap between performance and expectations and how to have an effective conversation on identifying the barriers and developing a plan that will motivate the employee to reach the goals set for them.


  • Identify what it takes to overcome the fear of having difficult, but effective conversations with staff.
  • Recognize the need for staff performance conversations.
  • Demonstration  how to close the gap between performance and expectations.

Course Level: Intermediate; Nursing 1.6 CEs; Accounting 2.0 CPEs (NASBA/FIN)

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