Due to labor shortages, veterans in Florida, Alabama and across the country are struggling to find at-home health care providers. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has chosen to exclude nurse registries in the Community Care Network (CCN), which would qualify these caregivers for reimbursement. The VA’s arbitrary decision to exclude nurse registries only exacerbates the existing labor shortage in this critical field.
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) introduced the Veterans Homecare Choice Act to reinstate veterans’ access to homecare professionals operating as independent contractors by making any nurse registry eligible for the CCN. This would allow veterans in need of home health care to have more options for providers for their at-home nursing, health aide or companion services needs.
“Bureaucracy should never keep the men and women who served our nation from receiving the care they deserve," said Rubio. "I am proud to introduce the Veterans Homecare Choice Act, which would expand access to care and reduce the burden of bureaucratic red tape that our nation’s heroes currently face.”
“When our country’s heroes need medical care in their own homes, they should be able to decide what kind of service is best for them," Tuberville. "This bill fixes an obvious error that’s forcing veterans into one-size-fits-all homecare programs instead of giving them the options they deserve. Having care in the home is an important and personal decision. Veterans deserve the freedom to choose a homecare provider they trust.”
Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
A nurse registry is a business model where a coordinator connects homecare providers operating on a 1099 status with clients in need of homecare as opposed to full-time employees of a business. Under the Veterans Choice Program, veterans are able to receive reimbursements for the costs of home care.
Specifically, this bill:
Amends Title 38 to explicitly include nurse registries in the Community Care Program.