Veterans Administration to Require New Agreements Under Community Care Program
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Courtesy of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice
The Veterans Administration (VA) has issued an interim final rule that implements section 102 of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (MISSION Act), authorizing the VA to enter into agreements with community providers to furnish required care and services when care and services are not feasibly available through a VA facility, a contract, or a sharing agreement.
The new interim final rule also establishes a certification process for providers furnishing care or services, a methodology by which payment rates will be calculated, and an administrative process for adjudicating disputes arising under or related to these agreements.The MISSION Act was passed in to law on June 6, 2018 and includes five titles containing more than 60 substantive provisions, many of which amend existing law or create new law that affects the way VA furnishes necessary care and services to covered individuals.
Under the requirements of the MISSION Act, after June 6, 2019, the VA will no longer be able to use Veteran Choice Program agreements to purchase care from community providers. These agreements must be replaced with new Veteran Care Agreements in order to implement the Veteran Community Care Program that allows the VA to purchase services from community health care providers.
Home health agencies are well positioned to provide veterans with home health services under the Veterans Community Care Program and have been providing services to individuals paid for by the VA for many years; long before the Veterans Choice Program was implemented.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is aware of outreach activities by the VA to community providers with information regarding the transition, however there are still many unanswered questions. NAHC is working to obtain more information, but recommends in the interim that agencies contact their local VA office for more information. Stay tuned for more updates.