Representative Lee Zeldin [NY-1] has introduced H.R. 2460, legislation designed to increase the availability of adult day health care services for severely disabled veterans. If enacted, the legislation would reimburse state veterans homes for the provision of adult day health care services to severely disabled veterans who are eligible for, but do not receive, full-time skilled nursing home care paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), with no cost to the veteran.
Under current law, veterans who require nursing home care due to a service connected disability or who have a VA disability rating of 70% or more can receive full time nursing home care inside a state veteran home at no cost; however, the law does not allow those same severely disabled veterans to benefit from adult day health care, which is a less costly non-institutional alternative many prefer. H.R. 2460 would amend existing law to authorize VA to pay state veterans homes a per diem rate that is 65% of the per diem otherwise payable for full time skilled nursing home care for these same severely disabled veterans.
Adult day health care, which is currently offered by only three state homes, provides comprehensive medical, nursing and personal care services combined with social activities for physically or cognitively impaired adults. Under this program, veterans are brought to the state home for 6-8 hours where they can receive any necessary medical care — including physical, occupational or speech therapy — as well as nutritional and social services. Adult day health care allows severely disabled veterans who might otherwise need skilled nursing services to receive them several times a week while continuing to live at home.
If enacted, H.R. 2460 would enable more state veterans homes across the country to offer adult day health care programs for these deserving veterans. It would also provide important relief and support for their family caregivers.
Please contact your elected officials to urge them to cosponsor, support passage, or to thank them for cosponsoring H.R. 2460 during the 114th Congress.
As always, thank you for your advocacy and for aiding DAV in support of our mission of empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity.
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