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Aug. 4—President Barack Obama on Thursday will sign provider-backed legislation to expand treatment options for veterans, according to an administration spokesman.
The $16.3 billion bill aims to increase veterans’ access to healthcare services following the discovery that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities used a variety of misleading methods to give the false impression that veterans had shorter wait times for care.
The bill includes $10 billion to provide access to care at non-VA providers when delays hamper veterans’ care. Veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or who have to wait more than 30 days for a medical appointment can seek outside care.
The funding for non-VA-provided care is meant to be temporary and would end when funds are exhausted or three years after enactment, whichever occurs first.
The legislation drew the support of provider advocacy groups, including the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association, for the provisions easing access to care.
For instance, the AHA praised the inclusion of language allowing hospitals to contract directly with their local VA facilities rather than having to go through a managed care contractor. Many hospitals have “ongoing and cooperative relationships with their local VA facilities, which can be built upon to enable veterans to readily secure needed care,” according to an AHA letter to members of Congress who led the bill’s passage.
The bill also exempts non-VA providers from federal contractor or subcontractor obligations during its duration.
The measure provides $5 billion for the VA to recruit more physicians, nurses, and other healthcare staff to care for the surging number of veterans who have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The legislation came in response to a widening scandal involving delays in care at many VA facilities that have been linked to veterans’ deaths. For instance, a VA auditor’s report released in July found 110 VA facilities maintained secret waiting lists in an effort to hide the lengths of care delays at their facilities.
Publication Date: Monday, August 04, 2014
Russ Graney, founder and CEO for Aidin, and John Laursen, head of business development for Aidin, share insights on how to improve care transitions between acute and post-acute care settings and incentivize high-quality patient outcomes.
Scott Elston, strategic accounts manager, GE Healthcare Services, describes how substantial cost reduction in health care requires rethinking business strategy and asset use.
Robert Williams, MD, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arielle Freiberger, product strategist, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, explain how sophisticated retrospective, real-time, and predictive data analytics can inform decision making to reduce costs and improve care.
Stuart Hanson, director of business development (healthcare solutions) at Citi Retail Services, discusses how improving the payment experience can benefit consumers and healthcare providers.
Scott Schmidt, vice president, Cerner RevWorks, LLC, shares insights on best practices for maximizing a revenue cycle management partnership.
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