A section of the Veteran Care Improvement Act (S.1315/H.R. 3520) would extend the timely filing for payment from 180 days to one year, a welcome change for many HCAOA members providing care to veterans. However, unless amended, it would not address the back payments owed to home care providers during the transition from the CHOICE program to the Community Care Network.
According to an HCAOA survey, home care agencies reported a total of $14 million owed to them for services provided from June 2019 to July 2022. In a letter to House Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Mike Bost, HCAOA cited the extreme confusion home care agencies experienced during the transition and asked that the current bill be amended to include this previous time period. In the letter, HCAOA CEO Vicki Hoak wrote:
As is often the case during large national transitions of this nature there is some amount of confusion. Providers that rendered services to veterans were given different instructions by Optum, TriWest and the VA Medical Centers on how to file claims during the transition. After refiling the claims and responding to denial letters, the window of time to file a new claim expired. HCAOA is requesting Congress to amend the statute to remove the 180-day timely filing limit for those claims related to dates of service from June 1, 2019, to July 1, 2022.