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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


Leveraging Data to Grow Your Organization

By Melynda Lee


A new era in health care data is here. Information that just a few years ago seemed impossible to obtain is now at our fingertips. The breadth and depth of data readily available today is unprecedented and growing exponentially. The greatest challenge facing health care executives is not how to find and manage data, but how to arm sales staff with the right data, optimally presented and organized, from a burgeoning sea of information.

While post-acute care providers have traditionally primed their sellers with the previous year’s quality and satisfaction scores, advances in innovative applications and analytics make it simple and affordable for agencies of all sizes to acquire the tools and information that drive true market intelligence and competitive advantage.

Advancing the data revolution is the integration of real-time patient referral data between care providers with detailed patient claims data, including patient demographics, payer breakouts, and readmission rates by diagnosis. This level of data, when used correctly, will inform your sales strategy and direct your sales tactics by illuminating the greatest opportunities for growth in your market.

As consultants to post-acute care providers, HomecareCRM is one of the leading organizations driving this revolutionary change in the health care industry. Our data experts help agencies look at their markets like never before, using the key data points that guarantee their sales people are focused on proven referral sources, not just a network of contacts.

Smart health care leaders are directing their business development resources to insightful data. The number of vendors and channels to access this information is endless, but a few critical steps can make the difference when putting your data to work and quickly showing a return on your investment.

Invest in relevant and timely data

Starting with your business processes and strategic goals, identify the key information you need to grow your enterprise before you begin shopping for market data. It’s likely you’ll want some basic information about local physicians, hospitals, and other facilities and agencies that is much deeper than just contact names and specialty.

Map out your ideas and dream big. The vast amount of available information about providers and the markets they serve will tell you everything from average length of stay or service by referring physician to patient mix by demographics, diagnosis mix, and market share of referrals to your agency compared with your competition. You’ll be able to quickly calculate where the gaps exist and the greatest opportunities should be pursued.

When you are ready to evaluate data resources, inquire about the timeliness of the information. You want the freshest data available for this level of investment in the future growth of your organization. Also, clearly articulate your objectives to the vendors and be sure you know what’s included in the data you purchase — and what’s not.

If your business model changes, you add or eliminate service lines, expand your service footprint, or retool your sales and marketing team, be sure your market data is updated or expanded as your organizational goals change, especially when using this type of intelligence to make strategic decisions and significant financial investments.

“Data scripts should be constantly reviewed to ensure they are still applicable to the business requirements. Data for data’s sake is not valuable,” says Keagen Brown, senior vice president of product and strategy with HomecareCRM and the visionary behind the company’s market-leading Harvest data product.

Manage your data well to monitor causality

Over time and generations of staff assignments, it’s likely the integrity of the data integrated between your CRM and EMR systems will erode if not managed properly. Protect your investment by frequently auditing and reporting any changes you see at the time they are exposed. If your organization doesn’t have a dedicated IT department, rely on your system administrator to schedule periodic checks of your integrated information. Consult your EMR and CRM vendors for further guidance.

Recognize the facts

Data that has been validated must be trusted, even when you don’t like the answers it provides. We frequently hear from agencies challenging the accuracy of the data we share about their market. Most agencies are confident in their knowledge about their referral-source patterns, and are often surprised when claims data shows a competitor’s share trumps their own slice of the market. Claims information is straightforward. If a bill was submitted by a service provider, it has been validated and reported before it makes its way into the data set.

We advise our clients to put a positive spin on this information when coaching their sales teams, and employ the data to revise their sales strategy using measurable objectives guaranteed to boost market share.

Educate your sales staff, and hold them accountable for using the data wisely

Improve the real-time performance evaluation of your sales staff by making your data easily accessible and simple to use. When facts and figures about the market place are integrated with the information housed in your EMR, the convergence reveals a powerful image of where and how your sellers are spending their time and the results they are achieving. If your market data indicates a physician refers less than one patient to your line of business per quarter, is it worth your salesperson’s time to call on that doctor every week? Probably not. This integration of market data and information from your EMR is the cornerstone of CRM and central to the growth strategy of our clients.

It’s critical to train your team to interpret and employ the key data points. Emphasize the value of the information and how to make the market intelligence work to your competitive advantage. While managers should use data to measure sales performance, your team needs to feel confident when looking deeper than just the numbers. So teach them how to analyze the underlying information about their accounts and prospects to find hidden and untapped sources of growth. A good example is identifying a physician who serves patients matching your target demographics but makes significantly fewer referrals than their peer providers in your market.

Once your business development team has studied the data and identified where the greatest opportunities for growth exist, be sure the information is leveraged appropriately in pre-call planning. Study the story the data provides and build your sales strategy around it for each prospective referral source.

In closing, consider arming your sales team with mobile devices in the field to truly maximize the value of your integrated data. It’s a strategy guaranteed to ease the fear of cold calling and eliminate downtime on your sellers’ calendars.

Join us next month, when we’ll share some leading trends in training technology for health care solutions that save time and money while optimizing the strength and knowledge of your sales team.



About the Author: Melynda Lee is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations with HomecareCRM and a former hospice executive. HomecareCRM is the leading premier growth partner of post-acute care providers. Melynda can be reached at or 404-314-0431.







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