[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 220 (Tuesday, November 15, 2016)]
[Pages 80166-80167]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-27436]



Tribal Health Programs--Community Care Consolidation

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Notice of tribal consultation.


SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health 
Administration (VHA) will facilitate a Tribal Consultation on VHA's 
effort to improve continuity of care and health care access for 
Veterans by consolidating multiple community care programs, previously 
known as non-VA care, into one standard program with standard rates. In 
October 2015, VA submitted to Congress the Plan to Consolidate Programs 
of Department of Veterans Affairs to Improve Access to Care, http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/VA_Community_Care_Report_11_03_2015.pdf, 
which lays out the vision for a consolidated community care program 
that is easy to understand, simple to administer, and meets the needs 
of Veterans, community providers, and VA staff. As VA continues to move 
forward with implementing the vision of the Plan, we again seek tribal 
input to assist VA in developing the network of providers in a manner 
that would build on VA's existing relationships with tribal health 
programs and facilitate future collaboration to improve health care 
services provided to all eligible, VA-enrolled Veterans, regardless of 
whether they are eligible for Indian Health Service-funded health care 
or not. We are seeking tribal consultation regarding the tribal health 
programs' participation in the core provider network, as outlined in 
the Plan, and potentially transitioning from the current reimbursement 
agreement structure to a model under which tribal health programs 
deliver care to all eligible, VA enrolled Veterans, using a standard 
reimbursement rate based on Medicare rates.

DATES: Comments must be received by VA on or before November 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted by email at 
[email protected], by fax at 202-273-5716, or by mail 
at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Suite 915L, 810 Vermont Avenue 
NW., Washington, DC 20420.

[[Page 80167]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Majed Ibrahim, VA Office of Community 
Care, VHA at (562) 400-3134 (this is not a toll-free number), or by 
email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VA is seeking consultation and comments on 
the following questions:
    (1) What would be the impact of transitioning from the existing 
reimbursement agreement structure, which requires each tribe to enter 
into an individual reimbursement agreement with VA, to a standard 
arrangement for reimbursement of direct care services provided to 
eligible Veterans managed by a third party administrator for VA?
    (2) Would tribal health programs be interested in expanding direct 
care services under this new structure to include reimbursements for 
care provided to all Veterans enrolled in VA health care, regardless of 
whether they are eligible for health care funded by Indian Health 
Service (IHS) or not?
    (3) Would tribal health programs be interested in receiving 
standard reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates plus a feasible 
percentage of those rates to minimize improper payments and comply with 
industry standards?
    (4) Would tribal health programs be interested in extending 
existing reimbursement agreements between VA and tribal health programs 
through December 2018 and ensuring any new reimbursement agreements 
between VA and tribal health programs extend through December 2018, as 
VA works in collaboration with tribes and other VA stakeholders on 
implementing a consolidated community care program?
    Tribal leaders and/or their designated representatives and other 
interested parties are invited to attend and provide comments during 
the in-person consultation and/or submit written comments.

    Dated: November 9, 2016.
Jeffrey Martin,
Office Program Manager, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, 
Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2016-27436 Filed 11-14-16; 8:45 am]