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Rounds, Hoeven Reintroduce Veterans Access to Long Term Care and Health Services Act

VA Secretary Supports Goals of Legislation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) recently reintroduced the Veterans Access to Long Term Care and Health Services Act, which expands veterans’ access to long-term care (LTC) services. The legislation will enable veterans to receive nursing home care in their home communities near their loved ones because more nursing homes will be able to treat veterans without having to comply with burdensome red tape.


“South Dakota veterans have made incredible sacrifices to keep us safe,” said Rounds. “Our legislation would remove red tape and regulatory hurdles to provide more options to our veterans when seeking care, particularly our rural vets who utilize the Choice Act in greater proportions. I thank Sen. Hoeven for continuing to lead this important effort to improve the quality of care for our vets.”


The legislation allows the VA to enter into provider agreements with qualified health care and extended care facilities. The bill also enables more local health care providers to accept veteran patients and bypass burdensome and oftentimes expensive federal contracting requirements. 


Currently, the VA can enter into federal contracts with non-VA providers in rural areas to provide services to veterans, but many LTC facilities have not admitted VA patients because of difficult regulations and reporting requirements.


In contrast, when contracting with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), LTC facilities are not subject to the same regulations. The legislation would make LTC requirements the same whether they contract with the VA or CMS. This gives veterans more options to access LTC services closer to their homes, families and loved ones.


This bill is supported by the American Health Care Association, the nation’s largest association of long term and post-acute care providers.