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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

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

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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

NAHC Submits Testimony for Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Hearing on Medicare’s Benefit Design

Issues surrounding proposed changes to Medicare – including whether or not to add more copayments – became the focal point of recent hearing
February 28, 2013 09:54 AM

PRESS RELEASE

For additional information:

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

WASHINGTON D.C. (Feb. 28, 2013) – The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health held its first hearing of the 113th Congress Tuesday with the hearing focusing on Medicare’s benefit design – and particularly on proposed changes to cost sharing in the program.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) submitted written testimony that detailed its opposition to proposals to impose home health and hospice copays. As a counter-measure to the increasing calls from some policy makers to shift more of the costs onto Medicare’s beneficiaries, NAHC’s testimony gave the history of copays…“Congress eliminated the home health copayment in 1972 for the very reasons it should not be resurrected now. The home health copayment in the 1960s and 1970s deterred Medicare beneficiaries from accessing home health care and instead created an incentive for more expensive institutional care.  Reinstating the home health copay today would undo the progress made in efforts to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and nursing home stays.”

The testimony also illustrated how copays can discourage use of necessary and beneficial care – resulting in the deterioration of a patient’s condition and ultimately leading to more intensive and costly care options. NAHC’s efforts helped to educate members of the Subcommittee – many of whom mentioned home care during their questioning of the hearing’s three witnesses.

NAHC’s testimony reiterated home care’s cost benefit to Medicare while the imposition of a copay would have adverse effects and unintended consequences. A recent analysis by Avalere found that a home health copayment could increase Medicare inpatient hospital spending by $6-13 billion over ten years. NAHC pointed out that “...home health and hospice care already have the highest cost-sharing in Medicare.  On a daily basis, millions of spouses, family, friends and community groups contribute the equivalent of billions of dollars worth of care and support to keep their loved ones at home. Further, care in the home means that the Medicare beneficiary provides all the financial support in terms of room and board that are otherwise paid for by Medicare and Medicaid in an institutional setting.” 

Referring to the burden that adding home health copays would impose on seniors, Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) asked Patricia Neuman of the Kaiser Family Foundation to confirm that Medicare beneficiaries who receive home health services are among the most vulnerable and then stated that, “not only did [home health care] reduce costs for Medicare, but it also reduced costs for beneficiaries.”

In its testimony, NAHC offered proposals to strengthen Medicare program integrity as well as innovative ideas to expand the use of home care and hospice to ensure the delivery of high quality care at less cost to Medicare. NAHC remains committed to working with all members of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee while opposing any attempts to impose cost-sharing measures that would restrict access to home care and hospice services. NAHC’s testimony will be included as part of the official record, and is also available online here.

To get more information on yesterday’s Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health hearing – including the written testimony of all three witnesses - please click here.

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. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org.

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