Veterans may have better access to LTC services under proposed bill

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Legislation that would make it easier for long-term care providers to enter into care agreements with the Department of Veterans Affairs was introduced in the House on Tuesday.

The House version of the Veterans Access to Long Term Care and Health Services Act was introduced by Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), who said the bill will help remove some of the red tape preventing “local, qualified providers” from caring for veterans. The legislation would make requirements for providers who contract with the VA the same as those who are reimbursed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, freeing them from duplicative requirements.

The Senate version of the bill was introduced in July, and quickly gained support from the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living. AHCA/NCAL Mark Parkinson said the bill is “crucial” to making sure veterans have access to long-term care services that are “closer to veterans' homes and community support structures.”

“Supported by the American Health Care Association, this legislation will improve our veterans' access to timely and convenient care, and I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress and VA Secretary Shulkin to get these policies enacted on behalf of our Veterans,” Poliquin said.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.