Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Senator Hoeven Urges VA Secretary to Expand Extended-Care for Veterans, Allow Provider Agreements

Dana Halvorson

Sen. Hoeven (R-ND)
On February 16, 2017, U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) urged Dr. David Shulkin, the newly-confirmed Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), to expand veteran access to extended care services through the regulatory process. According to a February 27, 2017, press statement from the Senator’s office, “the Senator’s goal is to allow the VA to enter into provider agreements with non-VA long-term care providers, rather than the current burdensome federal contracting requirements.”
The full text of Hoeven’s letter can be found here.

As noted in previously, 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. The Office of Federal Contracting Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has administered onerous reporting requirements and regulations, which have dissuaded nursing care centers from admitting VA patients. This limits the care available to veterans needing long term care in their local communities. AHCA has been advocating for VA provider agreements that would make the VA requirements for providers the same as they are for CMS and waives the OFCCP federal contracting requirements. Legislation, Congressional hearings and mark-ups, press statements, work with the VA and DOL, and continued advocacy has all been done in the past by AHCA to work to get VA provider agreements across the finish line, and to take those with VA contracts out of the scope of being deemed a federal contractor.

AHCA will keep its membership apprised of any updates relating to this important issue.

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