The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is requesting information to assist in implementing section 1703B of title 38, United States Code (U.S.C.), as added by section 104(a) of the John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act of 2018 (the VA MISSION Act) which directs VA to establish access standards for furnishing hospital care, medical services, and extended care services to covered veterans for purposes of the Veterans Community Care Program. In establishing these access standards, VA is required to consult with all pertinent Federal, private sector, and non-governmental entities. VA requests information from the public regarding the development of these access standards, including but not limited to information with regard to health plans on the use of access standards for the design of health plan provider networks, referrals from network providers to out-of-network providers, the appeals process for exemptions from benefit limits to out-of-network providers, and the measurement of performance against federal or state regulatory standards. With regard to health systems, VA requests information from the public including but not limited to the existence of standards for appointment wait times, the use of travel distance for establishing service areas, the development or use of guidelines to refer patients to out of system providers, and the measurement of performance against federal or state regulatory standards. Responses to this notice will support industry research and VA’s evaluation of access standards.
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