CHA News

VA Issues Veterans Community Care Program Proposed Rule

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued a proposed rule implementing provisions of the Veterans Community Care Program — authorized by the MISSION Act — which allows covered veterans to receive necessary hospital, medical and extended care services from non-VA providers.

Under the MISSION Act, veterans enrolled in the VA health system can seek care from non-VA providers if they meet one of the following six conditions:

VA does not offer the required care or services.
VA does not operate a full-service medical facility in the state where the veteran resides.
The veteran was eligible to receive care under the Veterans Choice Program and is eligible to receive care under certain grandfathering provisions.
VA is not able to furnish care or services to a veteran in a manner that complies with VA’s proposed access standards.
The veteran and the referring clinician determine it is in the veteran’s best medical interest to receive care or services from an eligible entity or provider based on consideration of proposed criteria.
The veteran is seeking care or services from a VA medical service line that VA has determined is not providing care that complies with VA’s standards of quality.

The proposed rule also defines which non-VA entities and providers are eligible to participate in the program and clarifies payment rates and methodologies for those community providers. VA previously issued a separate proposed rule implementing urgent care provisions for the new program. Comments on the proposed rule are due March 25.

DEA Moves Cannabis-Derived Drug From Schedule I to Schedule V

The Drug Enforcement Administration has moved Epidiolex from Schedule I to Schedule V. According to All Facilities Letter 19-06, issued last week by the California Department of Public Health, cannabis-derived drugs that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and that have no more than 0.1 percent residual tetrahydrocannabinols will be moved to Schedule V. Currently, only Epidiolex meets those requirements. Drugs that do not meet these criteria may not be prescribed or dispensed.

Privacy Breach Reports Due March 1

Federal law requires hospitals and other HIPAA-covered entities to report all 2018 HIPAA privacy breaches affecting fewer than 500 patients to the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by March 1. This requirement also applies to hospitals that have already notified affected patients and the California Department of Public Health. 

2019 California Hospital Compliance Manual Now Available

CHA has released the 10th edition of the Hospital Compliance Manual, written specifically to help California’s hospital compliance officers, chief financial officers, legal counsel, and risk managers stay abreast of pertinent state and federal laws. The manual focuses on high-risk compliance issues and addresses the key components of an effective compliance plan.

Next Covered California Board Meeting Scheduled for Feb. 21

Covered California will hold its next board meeting on Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Sacramento. The meeting is scheduled to include a report from Executive Director Peter Lee, as well as updates on policy and action items including qualified health plan contracting for 2020. A meeting agenda is available online.

DHCS Provides Health Homes Program Update

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has released an update on the Health Homes Program, including current and future implementation counties, and counties where the program will not be implemented.

2019 Hospital Volunteer Conference Inspires Volunteers Statewide

The annual California Hospital Volunteer Leadership Conference (view photo gallery) took place earlier this week in Sacramento. Hosted by the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems Volunteer Services, the conference brought together more than 200 hospital volunteers and volunteer leaders, as well as 31 speakers, 14 exhibitors, and several pet therapy animals.

Authors
  • Megan Howard
    Vice President, Federal Policy