Proposed rules broaden opportunities for veterans needing post-acute care

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Newly proposed rules could impact veterans' nursing home care. One rule would provide more flexibility to veterans in terms of their healthcare benefits under the Department of Veterans Affairs. A separate rule would prioritize government funding for state homes that provide care to veterans.

Currently, missing two medical appointments without providing 24 hours notice and a reasonable excuse is considered refusal of VA medical care. A proposed rule published Monday in the Federal Register would eliminate this regulation. VA rulemakers say the regulation would hamper government efforts to promote continuous care in post-acute settings.

“We propose to remove this regulation because denying follow up medical treatment for even a short period can interfere with continuity and coordination of care, and the punitive nature of the regulation could have a negative impact on the therapeutic relationship,” the rule states.

A separate proposed rule, published in the Federal Register last Wednesday, would change the way grant applications will be considered by VA for state homes that provide nursing care to veterans. Grants that would go toward remedying life or safety deficiencies would be prioritized under the rule changes, and the rule updates which VA member can issue citations for threats to life or safety in these homes.

The comment period for both rules runs through June.