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e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Title 38Chapter IPart 17 → §17.450


Title 38: Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief
PART 17—MEDICAL


§17.450   Center for Innovation for Care and Payment.

(a) Purpose and organization. The purpose of this section is to establish procedures for the Center for Innovation for Care and Payment.

(1) The Center for Innovation for Care and Payment will be responsible for working across VA to carry out pilot programs to develop innovative approaches to testing payment and service delivery models to reduce expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care furnished by VA.

(2) The Center for Innovation for Care and Payment will not operate within any specific administration but will operate in VA's corporate portfolio to ensure the limited number of concurrent pilot programs under this section are not redundant of or conflicted by ongoing innovation efforts within any specific administration.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section.

Access refers to entry into or use of VA services.

Patient satisfaction of care and services refers to patients' rating of their experiences of care and services and as further defined in a pilot program proposal.

Payment models refer to the types of payment, reimbursement, or incentives that VA deems appropriate for advancing the health and well-being of beneficiaries.

Pilot program refers to a pilot program conducted under this section.

Quality enhancement refers to improvement or improvements in such factors as clinical quality, beneficiary-level outcomes, and functional status as documented through improvements in measurement data from a reliable and valid source, and as further defined in a pilot program proposal.

Quality preservation refers to the maintenance of such factors as clinical quality, beneficiary-level outcomes, and functional status as documented through maintenance of measurement data from an evidence-based source, and as further defined in a pilot program proposal.

Reduction in expenditure refers to, but is not limited to, cost stabilization, cost avoidance, or decreases in long- or short-term spending, and as further defined in a pilot program proposal. NOTE: VA will also consider the proposal's potential impact on expenditures for other related Federal programs; however, this potential impact will not count against the limitation in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

Service delivery models refer to all methods or programs for furnishing care or services.

(c) Geographic locations. VA will make decisions regarding the location of each pilot program based upon the appropriateness of testing a specific model in a specific area while taking efforts to ensure that pilot programs are operated in geographically diverse areas of the country. VA will include in its proposal to Congress and publish a document in the Federal Register identifying the geographic locations proposed for each pilot program, the rationale for those selections, and how VA believes the selected locations will address deficits in care for a defined population.

(d) Limitations. In carrying out pilot programs under this section, VA will not:

(1) Actively operate more than 10 pilot programs at the same time; and

(2) Consistent with 38 U.S.C. 1703E(d), obligate more than $50 million in any fiscal year in the conduct of the pilot programs (including all administrative and overhead costs, such as measurement, evaluation, and expenses to implement the pilot programs themselves) operated under this section, unless VA determines it to be necessary and submits a report to the appropriate Committees of Congress that sets forth the amount of, and justification for, the additional expenditure.

(e) Waiver of authorities. In carrying out pilot programs under this section, VA may waive statutory provisions by adding to or removing from statutory text in subchapters I, II, and III of chapter 17, title 38, U.S.C., upon Congressional approval, including waiving any provisions of law in any provision codified in or included as a note to any section in subchapter I, II, or III of chapter 17, title 38.

(1) Upon Congressional approval of the waiver of a provision of law under this section, VA will also deem waived any applicable provision of regulation implementing such law as identified in VA's pilot program proposal.

(2) VA will publish a document in the Federal Register providing information about, and seeking comment on, each proposed pilot program upon its submission of a proposal to Congress for approval. VA will publish a document in the Federal Register to inform the public of any pilot programs that have been approved by Congress.

(f) Notice of eligibility. VA will take reasonable actions to provide direct notice to veterans eligible to participate in a pilot program operated under this section and will provide general notice to other individuals eligible to participate in a pilot program. VA will announce its methods of providing notice to veterans, the public, and other individuals eligible to participate through the document it publishes in the Federal Register for each proposed and approved pilot program.

(g) Evaluation and reporting. VA will evaluate each pilot program operated under this section and report its findings. Evaluations may be based on quantitative data, qualitative data, or both. Whenever appropriate, evaluations will include a survey of participants or beneficiaries to determine their satisfaction with the pilot program. VA will make the evaluation results available to the public on the VA Innovation Center website on the schedule identified in VA's proposal for the pilot program.

(h) Expansion of pilot programs. VA may expand a pilot program consistent with this paragraph (h).

(1) VA may expand the scope or duration of a pilot program if, based on an analysis of the data developed pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section for the pilot program, VA expects the pilot program to reduce spending without reducing the quality of care or improve the quality of patient care without increasing spending. Expansion may only occur if VA determines that expansion would not deny or limit the coverage or provision of benefits for individuals under 38 U.S.C. chapter 17. Expansion of a pilot program may not occur until 60 days after VA has published a document in the Federal Register and submitted an interim report to Congress stating its intent to expand a pilot program.

(2) VA may expand the scope of a pilot program by modifying, among other elements of a pilot program, the range of services provided, the qualifying conditions covered, the geographic location of the pilot program, or the population of eligible participants in a manner that increases participation in or benefits under a pilot program.

(3) In general, pilot programs are limited to 5 years of operation. VA may extend the duration of a pilot program by up to an additional 5 years of operation. Any pilot program extended beyond its initial 5-year period must continue to comply with the provisions of this section regarding evaluation and reporting under paragraph (g) of this section.

(i) Modification of pilot programs. The Secretary may modify elements of a pilot program in a manner that is consistent with the parameters of the Congressional approval of the waiver described in paragraph (e) of this section. Such modification does not require a submission to Congress for approval under paragraph (e) of this section.

(j) Termination of pilot programs. If VA determines that a pilot program is not producing quality enhancement or quality preservation, or is not resulting in the reduction of expenditures, and that it is not possible or advisable to modify the pilot program either through submission of a new waiver request under paragraph (e) of this section or through modification under paragraph (i) of this section, VA will terminate the pilot program within 30 days of submitting an interim report to Congress that states such determination. VA will also publish a document in the Federal Register regarding the pilot program's termination.

[84 FR 57329, Oct. 25, 2019]

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