WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today introduced the Veterans Homecare Choice Act to ensure bureaucratic red tape does not deprive veterans from the ability to live independently in their own homes as they age.
The bill would restore veterans’ access to homecare professionals operating as independent contractors by fixing an oversight in the Veterans Community Care Program.
“Veterans, more than anyone, have earned the right to live their lives as they see fit, especially as they age,” Rep. Mast said. “If they choose to stay in their own homes as they get older, red tape in Washington should not prevent them from making that choice. This bill is a simple fix that will expand access to valuable homecare services that improve the lives of veterans and their families.”
"As a Member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I am deeply committed to ensuring that the men and women who bravely defended our freedoms have the opportunities they need to achieve an overall better quality of life,” said Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick. "As a former CEO in the health care industry, I know firsthand the impact this bill will have on veterans' access to much-needed homecare services. It is an honor to join my colleague from the Sunshine State to ensure veterans and their families have the resources they need to live meaningful lives long after they hang up their uniforms."
Like many seniors who want to live independently in their own homes but need some extra assistance to do so, tens of thousands of veterans turn to homecare professionals for everything from occupational therapy to housekeeping.
Finding the right homecare professional can be a challenge, and many veterans turn to individuals who operate as independent contractors. Oftentimes, they are connected with these individuals via a nurse registry. Under the 2014 Veterans Choice Program, the Veterans Administration (VA) would reimburse veterans who employed a homecare professional via nurse registry.
That changed in 2018. When the Choice Program was replaced by the VA MISSION Act, veterans were no longer eligible for reimbursement for homecare services provided by professionals connected via nurse registries. Only services provided by a homecare agency were covered.
The Veterans Homecare Choice Act makes a technical correction that will clarify Congressional intent and restore veterans’ freedom to choose the homecare service that best fits their needs.
Studies have shown that patients who receive homecare services are more satisfied with their care than those who receive similar care inpatient. Expanding access to homecare services will improve the lives of tens of thousands of veterans and their families.
The full text of the bill can be found here.