Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) Oct. 9 introduced legislation (H.R. 3755) that would increase Medicare support for certain Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) academic affiliates. The measure is a companion to the Delivering Opportunities for Care and Services (DOCs) for Veterans Act (S. 1676), introduced in July by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and endorsed by the AAMC [see Washington Highlights, July 31]. Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) are cosponsors of the bill.
Specifically, H.R. 3755 would allow teaching hospitals at or above their Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) per-resident-amount (PRA) cap to receive additional Medicare support for trainees who rotate through VA positions created under the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA, P.L. 113-146). The bill also extends from 5 years to 10 years the authorization for the Department to establish those 1,500 VA residency slots.
At a Senate VA Committee hearing in October, VA leadership agreed the approach was a good strategy [see Washington Highlights, Oct. 9]
H.R. 3755 may be considered as part of broader VA health care reform in November. The Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-41) requires the VA to submit a report to Congress on consolidating mechanisms for acquiring care at non-VA facilities by Nov. 1 [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 11]. The House VA Committee is scheduled to hold a Nov. 3 hearing titled “Choice Consolidation: Assessing VA’s Plan to Improve Care in the Community.”