Vermont Policy Update 10-7-19

Vermont’s home health and hospice agencies are implementing the new Regulations for the Designation and Operations of Home Health Agencies, the first major overhaul to the regulations since 2007. Over the last several years, the VNAs of Vermont has actively advocated for the rule to be consistent with extensive federal regulations. We’ve also worked to ensure that the rules do not create unnecessary administrative burdens on agencies, while still protecting patients and families. We believe our advocacy is evident in the final version of the rule. At this stage, we are working closely with members to provide them tools to help them understand and implement the changes.
Vermont is seeking public comment on the Choices for Care rule that covers the Vermont’s long-term care Medicaid waiver program. Comments are due on October 11. The VNAs of Vermont will submit comments on behalf of members. The VNAs of Vermont supports a proposal in the rule to update the Moderate Needs waitlist policy from a chronological system to a priority system. In written comments, the VNAs of Vermont will also urge the Agency of Human Services to revamp the eligibility requirements for the Moderate Needs group, something that is currently not expected until the renegotiation of the waiver in 2022.

Conflict-free Case Management

The Agency of Human Services has embarked on a process to determine how Vermont will comply with federal rules requiring the separation of case management from direct service in the Choices for Care and other home and community-based services programs. The department is seeking input on four options. We look forward to meeting with Agency officials at an upcoming meeting of the VNAs of Vermont board. In addition, VNAs of Vermont staff are working closely with members to develop written comments.

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