D.C. — The American Health Care
Association (AHCA) today threw its support behind a measure expanding veterans’
access to skilled nursing and other critical health care options. The
bipartisan bill was being deliberated today by the Veterans’ Affairs
Subcommittee on Health, and promises to help thousands of veterans across the
“We are committed to developing and advocating for
public policies which balance economic and regulatory principles to support
quality of care and quality of life for veterans,” said Mark Parkinson, AHCA President
and CEO, in written testimony prepared for the legislative hearing.
The Veterans Access to Extended Care Act provides the Department
of Veterans Affairs (VA) with legislative authority to enter into Provider
Agreements without the burdens of following complex federal contractor
agreements under the Services Contract Act (SCA). When providers are able to
enter into Provider Agreements, the number of providers serving veterans will
increase in most markets, expanding the options among veterans for nursing
center care and home and community-based services. The bipartisan bill (HR
1369/S.739) was introduced by Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN, 2nd),
Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI, 2nd), Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), and
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).
One of the lead champions on the legislation, Rep.
Jackie Walorski, testified during the hearing that incentivizing more local
providers to work with the VA will increase access to care that is closer to
home therefore allowing nearby family and friends to provide additional support
structures to our veterans. “These individuals have sacrificed so much in the
name of liberty; they should not have to worry about being unable to find care
close to home because their hometown providers do not have the resources
necessary to qualify as a government contractor,” testified Rep. Walorski.
"Veterans in need of health care services should be able to
access those services near where they live," said Frank Romano, a skilled
nursing provider and Vietnam combat veteran serving in country from 1968-1969.
Mr. Romano is President of Essex Group Management, a family-owned provider of
skilled nursing, assisted living, adult day health and home care services for veterans