[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 57 (Tuesday, March 25, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 16200]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06470]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 17

RIN 2900-AN98


Payment for Home Health Services and Hospice Care to Non-VA 
Providers; Delay of Effective Date

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule; delay of effective date.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published in the 
Federal Register on November 14, 2013 (78 FR 68364), a notification 
delaying the effective date of a final rule that amends the payment 
methodology for providers of home health services and hospice care. 
That notification changed the effective date from November 15, 2013, to 
April 1, 2014. We are now delaying until June 1, 2014, the effective 
date of the final rule at 78 FR 26250.

DATES: Effective Date: The effective date for the final rule published 
May 6, 2013, at 78 FR 26250, is delayed from April 1, 2014 to June 1, 
2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karyn Barrett, Director of 
Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health 
Administration, 3773 Cherry Creek Drive North, East Tower, Ste. 485, 
Denver, CO 80209, (303) 331-7829. (This is not a toll-free number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rulemaking makes the VA regulation 
governing payments for certain non-VA health care, 38 CFR 17.56, 
applicable to non-VA home health services and hospice care. Section 
17.56 provides, among other things, that Centers for Medicare and 
Medicaid (CMS) fee schedule or prospective payment system amounts will 
be paid to certain non-VA providers, unless VA negotiates other payment 
amounts with such providers. See 38 CFR 17.56(a)(2)(i). This change in 
the billing methodology for non-VA home health and hospice care was put 
forth in a proposed rule. We received one comment to this change and 
responded to that comment in a final rule published in the Federal 
Register on May 6, 2013 (78 FR 26250). The original effective date of 
the final rule was stated as November 15, 2013; however, we now delay 
the effective date of the final rule at 78 FR 26250 to the new 
effective date of June 1, 2014. The delay of the effective date is 
necessary to accommodate difficulties in the outreach and 
implementation of standardized processes for VA staff involved in the 
process of approving and paying for home health services and hospice 
care. Technology issues continue to be addressed in order to apply the 
billing methodology under Sec.  17.56 to non-VA home health services 
and hospice care. These difficulties relate to separate administration 
of hospice care and home health services by the Veterans Health 
Administration's Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care, which uses 
separate methods for forming agreements with non-VA providers for the 
provision of these services, and difficulties regarding information 
technology systems necessary to use the CMS rate made applicable under 
Sec.  17.56.

    Dated: March 19, 2014.
Robert C. McFetridge,
Director, Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the General 
Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2014-06470 Filed 3-24-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P