Skip to Main Content
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
Twitter Facebook Pintrest


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. Successful Hospice Cost Management

Cost reduction is an important goal in hospice and cost analysis is critical. Cost analysis is not simply identifying cost, but it also should be used in assisting decision-makers in pricing, revenue planning, and establishing standard cost.  As hospices address new payment models, data demands, and a changing patient population, how will the analysis of cost change? This session addresses hospice-specific cost management strategies, cost analysis, and actions that help minimize costs. During this session, attendees review external factors affecting cost, the impact of reduced payment rates on profitability, and cost management targets and tools that are the bases for financial success in today’s challenging environment.


  • Identify key management reports that affect decision-making, including financial statements
  • Construct benchmarking systems and cost analyses
  • Describe cost-optimizing strategies that meet operational and patient needs

102. Surviving and Succeeding with Pre-Claim Review

This program is designed to take you through a step-by-step process of what it takes to survive Pre-Claim review.  This is an interactive session that will not only prepare you for PCR, but allow you to succeed.  Financial analysis, documentation, F2F, and common errors experienced by Illinois will be the guide.  This is an essential program for home health agencies everywhere as pre-claim review can spread quickly and RACs, ZPICs, and MACs are expanding claims reviews already. Learn what Illinois has learned before it is too late!


  • Identify the financial implications of PCR
  • Define 5 steps to success in Medicare claims reviews.
  • Identify how adequate documentation leads to success in medical review

103. Drive Organizational Excellence with Lean Management

This presentation will provide a template for leaders to implement Lean management philosophy in assessing their current organization, identifying areas where they need to reduce inefficiency, and ensuring their focus is on patients.   Lean principles can transform quality for the better and create a culture of continuous improvement.


  • Understand what it takes for your organization to become Black or Green Belt using lean principles and how to apply the right principles to health care
  • Describe practical examples of Lean processes and how to transform your organization
  • Facilitate change tools to increase the participation of staff and leadership in shaping new solutions and interventions.
  • Identify how the use of Lean tools can make your processes more efficient and reduce costs without sacrificing quality

104. Winning Contract Strategies for Medicare Advantage Plans

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has been growing at a rapid pace. Congress and the Administration continue to promote enrollment as part of a plan to secure Medicare’s financial viability. As a result, home health agencies (and maybe someday hospices) must develop effective strategies to negotiate contracts with these plans. In order to get contracts with reasonable payment rates, agencies must develop a strategy for negotiation that includes assessing the threats and opportunities of each Medicare Advantage plan in your market area. In addition to knowing which services to offer, agencies will need to present the specifics on the quality and value benefits their services can offer to each Medicare Advantage plan and how these benefits are unique to your agency. Agencies should also be familiar with various types of payment models, including risk agreements and bonus plans related to actual outcomes delivered. Once a contract is obtained, an accurate budget for these services can be compiled.

This session will supply you with the proper tools to prepare for and conduct contract negotiations with Medicare Advantage plans. It will focus on putting the entire value proposition package together in order to put your agency in the best possible position to obtain a good contract. The session will review various types of payment models and incentives so you can respond to value based risk contracts.  In addition, this session will provide you with guidelines on how to develop a budget for these services.


  • Identify the value and quality benefits provided to the Medicare Advantage plan through the Plan’s use of your agency’s services.
  • Develop an effective plan for presenting your agency’s benefits during negotiating sessions.
  • Provide the tools to develop a budget for the services covered by the contract.
Concurrent Sessions - 200 Series

201. Achieving Collaboration between Hospice Clinical & Financial Departments

Clinical and Financial teams in hospices need to foster collaboration. Through strong collaborative operations, hospices can break down barriers to success, open discussions to best practices, and give insights into a common language that secures the future viability of the organization.  Common areas of interest start with the referral/admission all the way through to the revenue cycle management.


  • Identify barriers to successful collaboration
  • Best Practices that foster collaboration
  • Language differences in financial and clinical operations
  • Pull it all together with a discussion of a case study

202. Using Benchmarks to Drive Home Health Success

As Medicare continues to squeeze payment rates, increase regulatory requirements, and introduce value based and other alternative payment models, home health leaders are searching for ways to improve their financial, operational and clinical outcomes.  Benchmarks can be a powerful tool to help identify where home health agencies have an opportunity to improve.  The trick is in 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 home health agency.


  • Identify the key performance indicators that drive success in home health
  • List the sources for financial, operations and clinical outcome benchmarks in home health
  • Outline the process for benchmarking your agency’s performance
  • Implement performance improvement initiatives using benchmarking efforts

203. Using Organizational Mergers as a Financial Strategy

With all of the regulatory and reimbursement challenges that face the home health and hospice industry, companies continue to look for options on how to provide the highest quality of care, while staying financially viable.  Many agencies have looked at outright sales of their operations.  However, there continues to be a growing trend of organizations looking at mergers, joint ventures and partnerships as a way to navigate the ever-changing healthcare environment.  This program will discuss these strategies as potential options, as well as provide you with tools to help vet potential partners.


  • Gain an understanding of the current merger environment
  • Learn how to a find the “best fit” merger partner
  • Understand the different forms of mergers and how to determine what is in the best interest of your organization
  • Understand the process of merging multiple agencies

204. Adapting your Operations for Medicare Advantage Plans

As Medicare Advantage plans increase their enrollment in your market, it is important for agencies to know how to adapt to the requirements of Medicare Advantage plans. These plans may have contractual obligations like prior authorization of services and post payment reviews that differ significantly from traditional Medicare. In addition, there may be specific billing requirements, including time limitations, in order to get paid on a timely basis. As a result, agencies should develop appropriate processes for referral management and billing in order to create clean claims. Due to these requirements, which may vary by plan, it is important to know your costs specific to each plan. This costing will allow agencies to determine profitability by plan and seek payment adjustments for plans that cost more.

This session will focus on how an agency can identify process changes that need to be made in operations in order to successfully adapt to Medicare Advantage plans. It will review some of the challenges related to managing referrals and generating clean bills for these plans. This session will also provide you with the tools to develop a way to identify the cost associated with each contractual requirement like prior authorization. Finally, this session will outline initiatives in a few states to operate plans for the dual eligible population that may threaten an agencies existing Medicare volume.


  • Identify contractual requirements of Medicare Advantage plans that differ from Medicare and require new procedures and provide guidance on how to determine costs for each program.
  • Provide the tools to effectively manage Medicare Advantage referrals, including prior authorizations.
  • Review how certain states developed plans for the dual eligible population that may reduce your current Medicare patient volumes.
Concurrent Sessions - 300 Series

301. Physician Practice Management Principles for Hospices

Hospice providers face challenges in their quest to deliver high quality, compliant and cost effective physician and nurse practitioner visits to hospice and palliative care patients.  Without many of the efficiencies of large physician practices, how can hospices best utilize this valuable resource for the benefit of our patients?  This session will help hospice leaders discover the secrets of effective physician practice management, from tools for physicians to productivity expectations to compliant documentation for accurate reimbursement and appropriate revenue cycle management.


  • Identify effective physician/nurse practitioner practice management principles which maximize hospice and palliative provider resources and patient access to care, including consideration of documentation methods, productivity expectations, and compensation structures. 
  • Identify the Evaluation and Management Coding system, related physician documentation considerations, and monitoring and audit processes for compliant coding and accurate reimbursement.
  • Explain the reimbursement and revenue cycle challenges and potential solutions for hospice and palliative care physician/nurse practitioner visits.
  • Review changes in the federal physician quality payment programs such as PQRS, MACRA, and Meaningful Use and related considerations for Hospice /Palliative Medicine practitioners.

302. Achieving Cost Management in Home Health Services

Cost reduction is an important goal in home health and cost analysis is critical. Cost analysis is not simply identifying cost, but it should also be used in assisting decision-makers in service pricing, revenue planning and establishing standard cost.  As the industry turns full focus to “value,” how will the analysis of cost change? This session addresses cost management, cost analysis, and strategies to help minimize cost. During this session, attendees will eview external factors affecting cost, the impact of reduced payment rates on profitability of home health, and assess various strategies available to thrive, even in today’s regulatory onslaught.


  • Identify key management reports that affect decision making, including financial statements
  • Construct benchmarking and cost analyses
  • Describe cost-optimizing strategies that meet operational and patient needs

303. The Ongoing Evolution of Palliative Care

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.  At the same time, AIM programs are challenging financially if reimbursed only from traditional Medicare billing.  This session will review the goals, models and reimbursement for key variations of Palliative Care and Advanced Illness Management programs, and provide insights into clinical and financial management of these programs.  As part of the conference’s emphasis on alternative payment models, the session will detail existing arrangements which are outside traditional Medicare payment streams.


  • Identify key models of palliative care/advance illness management, including the Medicare Care Choices model.
  • Articulate the key payment mechanisms for palliative care services outside of traditional Medicare reimbursement.
  • Describe key factors for success in managing various models of palliative care delivery.

304. Getting on Board with Alternative Payment Models

As traditional Medicare becomes an ever smaller source for funding home health and hospice services, it’s important for providers to be adept at negotiating and implementing alternative payment models (APMs).  The first step is to understand the categories of payment models that are being rolled out, and how fellow providers are finding success as they experiment with these new models.  This session is geared to both home health and hospice providers, based upon the belief that while home health is currently further along in terms of APMs, hospice will soon follow.


  • Distinguish between major categories of alternative payment models
  • Identify key factors for success with specific alternative payment models
  • Describe how to engage strategic partners in development of alternative payment agreements
Concurrent Sessions - 400 Series

401. Hospice Compliance Management: Lessons Learned from Pre-Claim Review

Medicare hospice providers continue to draw attention from the Office of Inspector General and scrutiny from program integrity contractors due to improper payments.  The implementation of the Medicare home health pre-claim review (PCR) process in 2016 represented a significant move by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) away from its historical “pay-and-chase” approach to a more effective and proactive strategy aimed at preventing illegitimate provider payments.  While the PCR process has created significant hardships for home health providers, it has been deemed a success by CMS and is expected to continue to expand to other Medicare providers, including hospices.

By applying lessons learned from the PCR demonstration project, this session will focus on common hospice payment threats and documentation compliance risks, including election statements, general inpatient care documentation, notices of election, physician certifications and supporting documentation, and other coverage and payment conditions.  Strategies for mitigating risks by leveraging the use of technology to more effectively monitor documentation processes will be examined, along with tactics for conducting proactive compliance audits.


  • Apply lessons learned from Medicare home health pre-claim review demonstration hospice claims
  • Assess current Medicare hospice claim denial trends and common reasons for non-compliance.
  • Apply strategies for optimizing cash flow and minimizing compliance risks through effective documentation and revenue cycle processes management

402. Home Health Revenue Cycle & Compliance Management

As audit scrutiny and program integrity reviews intensify, the effectiveness of the home health revenue cycle continues to become more important.  New payers continue to enter the market bringing new challenges to reimbursement.  Effective management of the home health revenue cycle is one means of managing and minimizing compliance risks. This session will offer attendees the latest, available information on the second round of Probe and Educate reviews, and the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration, including the latest on most common denials.  Medicare Advantage payers have ever evolving criteria for payment and this session will also offer strategies in dealing with them.  This session will discuss methods of effective communication and collaboration in revenue cycle management.


  • Evaluate trends in claim denials, including those under Probe and Educate, ADRs and Program Integrity Contractors. 
  • Gain insight into current Medicare program integrity contractor efforts, including the FTF encounter, Probe and Educate initiative and Pre-Claim Review.
  • Implement effective methods of communication and collaboration in revenue cycle management

403. Improving Sales Management Through Solid Financial Management

As a member of the senior leadership team of a home health agency and hospice, the financial executive is an essential team member in effectively managing the sales process. This program focuses on how the sales process can be effectively managed, delivering the best results at an appropriate cost level including allotting right resources to the sales team along with optimal use of those resources.


  • Recognize the difference between sales and marketing and what resources should be devoted to each.
  • Understand the differences between sales efforts by executive and clinical staff.
  • Identify how to determine what support needed for each type of sales and how to set expectations, including compensation/benefit plans, customer relationship management software and market data, sales call expectations and territory management.

404. Alternative Payment Models – Best Practices in Operations

The transformation of health care from a fee for service payment model to a focus on value and quality has led to a variety of alternative payment models.  Health systems are engaging home care agencies to serve in different roles than they have traditionally.  Insurance companies are proposing risk models to share in the success of cost reductions, as long as quality measures are achieved.  The focus of this session is to explore how to prepare for these new payment models and how to adapt your operations to be successful in this new value based world.


  • Identify the key operational decisions on whether to participate with an Accountable Care Organization.
  • Describe steps to negotiate successfully with ACO’s and insurance companies.
  • Outline a process to adapt your clinical models to achieve cost savings and quality measures.
  • Recognize communication strategies to assist your board and management team to understand these advanced payment models.


Concurrent Sessions - 500 Series

501. Using Metrics to Unite Hospice Clinical & Financial Teams in Operations Improvement Efforts

Excellence in hospice involves much more than compassionate care delivered by expert teams.  It also requires a disciplined, structured approach to operations that unites clinical, financial and administrative teams to work together to achieve higher levels of performance through metrics.  This session will identify key performance indicators for measurement and reporting that involve everyone from direct care providers to back office support staff and volunteers. Discussion will include ways to operationalize benchmarks, a case study on hospice performance improvement, best practices for quality and financial management, and strategies for sustaining staff engagement and accountability.


  • Identify key clinical and financial benchmarks to measure hospice organizational performance, including internal and external benchmarks and specialized reports
  • Understand what key data elements are needed to establish clinical, operational and financial performance expectations and goals
  • Determine how to best integrate clinical operational and financial data into clear and concise reports to provide for better decision-making by management
  • Identify strategies to foster engagement of all levels of management and staff in the reporting and monitoring of data to successful adjust operations and clinical practice on a timely basis
  • Review the best practices and lessons learned from agency HHVBP initiatives that worked and didn’t work

Anchor502. Medicare Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Demonstration Update

The first “performance year” of Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) is over.  CMS will be reporting the Total Performance Scores (TPS) to agencies in August 2017, but what have we learned about how agencies performed in CY 2016.   What are some of the lessons learned on successes and failures in improving HHVBP measure scores and overall performance scores? Whether you are within one of the nine states in the demonstration or otherwise, this program will provide essential insights into the forces at play and the directions necessary for success in the expanding world of value-based health care.


  • Describe the latest updates and insights from CMS regarding the HHVBP initiative and changes made over the last year
  • Share the HHVBP measure scoring changes over CY 2016 and the impact on the performance scores across the nine demonstration states
  • Review the best practices and lessons learned from agency HHVBP initiatives that worked and didn’t work

Anchor503. Intending to sell your agency during the next 3 years?  What should you do today to maximize your valuation tomorrow?

For most owners, his/her agency represents 90-100% of their personal retirement portfolio. Many owners fail to use the time prior to exiting to maximize the value of their business.  This session will present key steps you should take today to increase the marketability, attractiveness, and valuation of your business as viewed from the buyer’s perspective.  Further, the session will cover how a buyer determines the price for your business and how risk – real or perceived – dramatically impacts that calculation.


  • Determine 5-10 action items you can take home to boost the value of your business.
  • Understand the relationship of risk, return and pricing.
  • Identify the business strategies/options that can handicap your company’s valuation.

Anchor504. How to Make Your Home Care Organization Be the First Choice for ACOs & Health Systems

We say we understand the needs of health systems and ACOs seeking to improve quality and reduce cost for defined populations. But, when it comes to getting in the game, home care agencies who want to make a big hit need to examine and improve their ability to add value. This session will identify key steps to bring success to your organization in the new reimbursement landscape in collaboration with providers managing populations. Discussion will include incentives that drive decisions by health systems and ACOs, as well as factors to consider for effective participation with bundled payment programs, narrow networks and other payment models.


  • Understand payment models and new reimbursement trends, including incentives that drive health systems and ACOs
  • Identify key benchmarks to evaluate and understand agency costs
  • Understand ways to maximize pay-for-performance reimbursement
  • Evaluate processes, systems and teams to support chronic care and disease management, reduce out-migration by patients, and identify early opportunities for utilization reductions
  • Consider the benefits and challenges associated with care delivery partnerships and collaboration
  • Identify opportunities to improve your agency’s reporting and monitoring of data to demonstrate value, compliance and efficiency to health systems, ACOs and other collaborators

©  National Association for Home Care & Hospice. All Rights Reserved.