Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Wednesday outlined provisions he secured in the final Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that will help provide veterans with more health care options closer to their home communities, including advancing Hoeven’s work to provide more long-term care services. The legislation was approved by the Senate today.
“Our veterans have heeded the call to serve our nation and they deserve the care they were promised,” said Hoeven. “This legislation provides strong support for our veterans and will help to provide them with the care and benefits they have earned. The bill advances our VA MISSION Act, which works to ensure that veterans are better able to receive quality long-term care services in their local communities.”
Specifically, Hoeven worked to include the following provisions in the bill:
- Advances the VA’s efforts to enter into provider agreements with non-VA long-term care providers, in lieu of the current burdensome federal contracting requirements.
- Stresses the importance of prompt payment and ensuring timely reimbursement for non-VA providers and directs the VA to facilitate the completion of any outstanding claims for payment.
- $270 million for the Office of Rural Health, which is responsible for increasing access to care and services for veterans in rural areas.
- Increases funding for veteran mental health services and veteran suicide prevention programs, including $40 million for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) research.
- $400 million for veteran opioid abuse prevention and treatment programs.
- $865 million to support veteran caregivers through training, educational resources and other tools.
- Provides strong funding for homeless veterans’ assistance programs, including the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program.