Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Members of Congress Urge VA to Release Final Rule

Drew Thies

Forty three Senators and an increasing number of House members are urging the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to release a final “provider agreement” rule that would increase access to skilled nursing for the nation’s veterans.

The rule, originally proposed in February 2013, removes complex and costly federal contracting requirements for providers who currently have VA patients and has yet to be released in final form. It is long-standing policy that Medicare (Parts A and B) or Medicaid providers are not considered to be federal contractors.

Federal contracts have deterred providers, particularly smaller ones, from VA participation because of extensive reporting requirements to the Department of Labor on the demographics of contractor employees and applicants.

The letter, originally spearheaded by Sens. John Hoeven (R – ND) and Tom Carper (D – RI), indicates the final rule would “allow for the use of alternative procedures to enter into provider agreements for extended care services.”

A bipartisan letter is still in circulation in the House and is expected to be released next month.

If you know or are represented by a Member of the House of Representatives who you believe would be interested in signing this letter, please contact Dana Halvorson (dhalvorson@ahca.org) or Drew Thies (dthies@ahca.org).

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