VA Proposal Seeks to Extend Home Care Services for Veterans

The Hill reports that the Veterans Affairs Department has released a proposal to expand VA-based health coverage to allow the department to partner with state and Medicare-based services.

The 25-page plan, released in Wednesday’s Federal Register, specifically aims to make “extended care services” easier for veterans to obtain. Those services have typically included nursing home and hospice care, but the VA wants to also include evaluations for at-home care from providers not contracted with the department.

The VA would be allowed to “use Medicare or state procedures to enter into provider agreements to obtain extended care services from non-VA providers,” according to the document.

That would add new care options for disabled veterans, which has been a goal of Congress. A Senate committee has urged the department to expand services by “contracting with small community-based providers” that often are not able to partner with the VA due to the extensive federal paperwork required. The rulemaking would remove those barriers for smaller providers.

Extended care would be defined as “geriatric evaluation, nursing home care, domiciliary services, adult day health care, non-institutional palliative care, non-institutional hospice care and home health care” in these regulations, the department says.

Comments are due to the Veterans Affairs Department by March 13.

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