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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

NAHC Statement on Senate Finance Committee Report

October 3, 2011 05:39 PM


For additional information:

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

WASHINGTON D.C. (October 3, 2011) – Val J. Halamandaris, president of The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), issued the following statement regarding the Senate Finance Committee Report on Home Health Services.

Today, the Senate Finance Committee issued a report on its investigation of certain home health companies that provide services to Medicare beneficiaries. In that report, the Senate Finance Committee recommended reforming the payment model employed by Medicare to determine the payment amounts for care. Since 2000, the Medicare payment model has tied the amount of payment to the level of utilization of therapy.

“We commend the Senate Finance Committee for calling for changes to the Medicare payment model. There have been systemic Medicare payment problems since its inception in 2000. Home health care has recommended that Medicare set payment rates based on the nature of the patient rather than the volume of services rendered, therapy or otherwise,” stated Val J. Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. “We have long been concerned that the current model discourages home health agencies from providing the care that was appropriate for the individual patient needs.”

The original payment model in 2000 provided a higher payment rate once the patient received 10 therapy visits during a 60 episode of care. Medicare revised the model in 2008, setting increased payment thresholds at 6, 14, and 20 visits. The change was made because of concerns from Medicare and the home health community that the single 10 visit threshold encouraged underutilization as well as overutilization of therapy. Recently, Medicare proposed additional reforms that modify, but do not remove the impact of therapy visit volume.

The home care community has recommended a series of legislative proposals to reform the home health payment system. These proposals will remove the level and amount of therapy as a determent in payment. This and a broad series of program integrity measures have the full support of the home health community.

“Medicare’s proposed reforms may be viewed as a step in the right direction, but we believe that there are better ways to go than continued reliance on the number of therapy visits for determining the payment amount. We are somewhat concerned with the Medicare proposal that increases payments if the patient receives no therapy, while decreasing payments if they do,” explained Halamandaris. “Patients should get what they medically need, not what a payment model directs. Therapy is an essential service that helps patients return to independence, saving Medicare from higher costs while improving patients’ lives. There should not be incentives to deny patients’ care any more that than we should encourage unnecessary care utilization through a payment model,” Halamandaris noted.

“It especially encouraging to see that the Senate Finance Committee, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and the home care community agree that the payment system should be reformed to be one that is patient-centered and encourages high quality of care and the best possible patient outcomes ,” concluded Halamandaris.

About NAHC

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nation’s 33,000 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




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