Saturday, May 21, 2016

AHCA Submits Statement for Congressional Hearing Record on VA Provider Agreements

Dana Halvorson

The office of the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the Honorable Jeff Miller (R-FL-01), requested a statement from AHCA for the May 24 hearing record relating to the topic of making permanent the Veterans Choice Program. AHCA’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Clif Porter, noted in the AHCA statement that nursing care centers are currently not included in the Veterans Choice Program as one of the eligible health care providers, and that AHCA has been advocating for policies which would grant the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) the legislative authority to enter into Provider Agreements for extended care services. As you know from previous correspondence, Medicare (Parts A and B) or Medicaid providers are not considered to be federal contractors. However, if a provider currently has VA patients and a VA contract, they are considered to be a federal contractor.

VA Provider Agreements would help to ensure that our skilled nursing care centers are able to care for veterans in their communities. Our centers already meet very strict compliance guidelines under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Adding additional regulations on top of this is simply inefficient, redundant and takes staff time away from these veterans at the bedside. AHCA continues to work with our Congressional champions on getting VA provider agreements across the finish line, and taking those with VA contracts out of the scope of being deemed a federal contractor.

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