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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

U.S. District Court Issues Order Blocking a New Department of Labor (DOL) Rule Which Would Redefine Companionship Services

PRESS RELEASE

For additional information:

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

 

Washington, D.C. (December 31, 2014)—Andrea Devoti, chairman of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) today hailed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) blocking the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing a proposed new definition of “companionship services.”

“This means that our most vulnerable citizens get at least a temporary reprieve from what would otherwise have become a significant cost barrier to paying for help at home for their chronic diseases. Without this relief, many seniors would be pushed into institutional care,” said Ms. Devoti.

This decision follows on the heels of a December 22 ruling by this same court which restored the rights of home care consumers to benefit from “companionship services” and “live-in” exemptions, regardless of whether their caregivers were employed by persons receiving the care or by a home care company.

The lawsuit challenges a rule that would have significantly changed a longstanding 40-year-old federal overtime rule known as the “companionship exemption” under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new DOL rule would have defined “companionship services” as primarily “fellowship” and “protection.” Under the new rule, the exemption would not have applied if home care workers serving patients gave more than incidental personal care services. The proposed rule would have required all current caregivers to be paid overtime compensation in almost all cases. This change would have led to higher costs which would have been borne by infirm individuals or by the states and federal government through financially strapped programs such as Medicaid.

Following the court’s ruling on December 22, NAHC asked the court to stay the effective date of a new narrow definition of “companionship services,” which seemed intended to eliminate two exemptions to overtime rules that benefit patients and home care employers.  

In its motion for a temporary stay, NAHC argued that home care recipients, companies, employees, and payers of services would face a risk of irreparable harm if the DOL rule went into effect. NAHC also explained that it would be likely that its claims would likely succeed on the merits and that the public interest would be best served by maintaining the status quo on overtime exemptions while the lawsuit proceeds.

The effort for temporary relief was supported with detailed affidavits of likely harm submitted by two disability rights advocacy groups, The Centers for Independent Living and ADAPT, along with the Kansas State Department on Aging, which is concerned about the financial stability of its home care programs if overtime compensation is required.

The next phase of the case will occur quickly because the court has scheduled a briefing and hearing on whether a preliminary injunction should be issued. A TRO can be in force for no more than 10 days while a preliminary injunction can be in effect until a final ruling on the case. The hearing is set for January 9 at which time the judge is expected to rule on NAHC’s request for an injunction.

During the time in which the TRO is in effect, home care companies can continue to pay home care aides and personal care attendants without added overtime compensation except where state law requires it. Home care companies are advised to consult competent counsel to determine if they qualify to use the exemption. If the requested injunction is granted on January 9, the exemption from overtime will continue until the court makes a final ruling or the Court of Appeals reverses the injunction. The DOL has previously indicated that it would appeal any adverse ruling by the court.

“Obviously some well-intentioned people in the DOL put forth a rule which they said would be good for patients, helpful to home care employees, and the companies that hire them, and equally good for state/federal programs such as Medicaid. The fact is that the proposed regulation would have had exactly the opposite effect on every category.  For this reason NAHC applauds the US District Court for its rulings and will continue to lead the effort in support of companionship rules that have been in effect for more than 40 years, and that have been sustained by a unanimous vote in the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Chairman Devoti.

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, and disabled. 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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