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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tribal Consultation Wednesday, September 28, 2016

October 5, 2016

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Tribal Consultation 
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently sent a Dear Tribal Leader Letter (DTLL) initiating Tribal consultation on the VA effort to improve continuity of care and health care access for Veterans by consolidating multiple community care (non-VA care) programs into one standard program with standard rates.  This impacts the VA Reimbursement Agreements between the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Tribal heath programs to provide thousands of Veterans access to community care.
The VA is seeking Tribal input to assist 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 IHS-funded health are or not.
The Tribal consultation with the VA will be held in-person on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 between 9:00AM and 11:00AM EST at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), 4th Street and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20560.  If you are planning on attending the Tribal consultation, please RSVP to tribalgovernmentconsultation@va.gov.
Following the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian will be holding a discussion about the creation of a National Native American Veterans Memorial on Wednesday, September 28, 2016from 11:00AM to 12:00PM at the National Museum of the American Indian in Room 4018/4019.  More information can be found in the invitation.
The VA is seeking Tribal consultation regarding the tribal health programs participation in the core provider network, 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.  The VA would like comments on the following questions:
  1.  What would be the impact of transiting 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 next structure to include reimbursements for care provided to all Veterans enrolled in VA health care, regardless of whether they are eligible for IHS-funded health care 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 that 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?
Written comments may be submitted to tribalgovernmentconsultation@va.gov before November 5, 2016.  NIHB will be circulating a memorandum following the Tribal consultation.  For more information, please contact NIHB’s Policy Associate, Sarah Freeman at sfreeman@nihb.org.

Last modified: October 5, 2016

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