Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act
Representative Clay Higgins introduced H.R. 1527. This would provide veterans who can no longer live independently an alternative to nursing home care. The veteran would continue to receive the care that they need in an intimate home-like environment through VA's Home-Based Primary Care program, and the Medical Foster Home (MFH) attendant program.
Started in 2000, VA Medical Foster Homes provide veterans who need nursing home level of care an alternative to being placed in a nursing home. VA Medical Foster Homes merge traditional adult foster care with comprehensive longitudinal care provided in the home by a VA interdisciplinary team that includes a physician, nurse, social worker, rehabilitation therapist, mental health provider, dietitian and pharmacist. Since its inception, over 4,000 veterans have resided in Medical Foster Homes.
However, many service-connected veterans who wish to reside in a VA Medical Foster Home are unable to do so because of substantial out-ofpocket costs of approximately $1,500 to $3,000 per month. Because VA does not have the authority to cover these costs, veterans are placed in nursing homes which VA pays for but cost more than twice as much.
As the veteran population continues to age, the need for long-term care services will continue to grow. Home-based community programs like MFHs will enable VA to meet the needs of aging veterans in a manner closer to independent living than institutionalized care. With the passage of this bill, veterans would have the option of care that more closely aligns with their independence while maintaining their quality of life.
(This bill is in accordance with Disabled American Veterans Resolution No. 085, which calls for legislation to improve the comprehensive program of long-term services and supports for service-connected disabled veterans regardless of their disability ratings).