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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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National Council of Aging

NAHC Opposes Proposed Home Health Copays and Inflation Update Cuts in President’s 2014 Budget

PRESS RELEASE

For additional information:

Barbara D. Woolley
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
(202) 547-7424
bdw@nahc.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 10, 2013) –The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) strongly opposes the Obama Administration’s proposed home health copayments and believes deficit reduction should not come in the form of a “sick tax” on the nation’s poorest, sickest and most vulnerable individuals. The President’s Budget also includes a reduced Market Basket Index (inflation) updates in 2014 through 2023. The proposed update reductions of 1.1 percentage points each year affect all post-acute care providers. These reductions would be in addition to the 2014 home health rate rebasing and the productivity adjustments starting in 2015
 
NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris said: “essential home health services are at risk. Previously enacted changes will cut Medicare spending on home health services by $77 billion over the next ten years - while less than $20 billion is spent annually. As a result of these cuts, 50 percent of all Medicare participating agencies will be under water in 2014 — that is, paid less than their costs by Medicare. Congress should therefore resist making additional cuts and imposing home health copays for any reason, including postponement or elimination of scheduled cuts in physician fees or for deficit reduction.”
 
Halamandaris continued, “with regard to the reimbursement rates for doctors through Medicare, the home health community supports reforms that will stabilize Medicare payments to physicians. However, the costs of these reforms should not be funded by indiscriminate across the board cuts to home health care.”
 
The cumulative effect of these billions of dollars in cuts has been to limit patient access to home care – pushing thousands of providers to the point of bankruptcy and forcing patients into costlier care options.  With 78 million baby boomers reaching their 65th birthday at the rate of 10,000 per day for the next 19 years, the need for home health services will only increase.  Home health keeps families together, and is the option overwhelmingly preferred by patients.  Home care is far more cost-effective for Medicare than institutional options – saving the program tens of billions of dollars annually.
 
Congress included $39.7 billion in home health payment cuts under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) through 2019. It reduced the home health inflation update one percentage point for 2011, 2012, and 2013, mandated rebasing of home health payment rates beginning in 2014 with a 4-year phase-in, and imposed a productivity adjustment in the inflation update beginning in 2015 that will reduce the inflation update by an estimated 1 percentage point each year. While home health represents about 5 percent of total Medicare spending, it took a disproportionately high 10 percent cut in Medicare payments in order to finance the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
 
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued rules that cut home health payment rates by 2.75 percent in 2008, 2.75 percent in 2009, 2.75 percent in 2010, 3.79 percent in 2011, 3.79 percent in 2012, and 1.32 percent in 2013 — for total reductions of over 16 percent on top of the PPACA rate cuts.
 
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently revised its projection on Medicare home spending, reducing it by over $32 billion to reflect the impact of legislative and regulatory cuts along with other factors.
 
As a result of sequestration, Congress’s agreement in August 2011 reducing the federal budget deficit, home health providers will take an additional 2 percent cut in payments in 2013, reducing projected home health spending by $6 billion dollars over ten years.
 
There was much speculation that the President would outline a new “social contract” in his budget.  The budget proposal submitted by the Administration, however, fails to do so - and in fact reduces access to critical health services. The president’s budget estimates that a home health copay would reduce Medicare spending by $730 million through 2023. Studies have demonstrated that the opposite is true - a home health copay will take Medicare spending in the wrong direction – forcing patients out of high-quality, cost-effective care into much more costly care settings such as hospital, ER and assisted living-based treatment.
 
Healthcare that is cost-effective for taxpayers, preferred by patients, and results in positive health outcomes should be encouraged and incentivized – not punished with additional payment cuts and a misguided “sick tax.”
 
About NAHC
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 25,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 12 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, disabled and dying. Along with its advocacy, NAHC provides information to help its members provide the highest quality of care and is committed to excellence in every respect. To learn more about NAHC visit www.nahc.org.
 
 

 

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