In Stratham, Pappas Continues Push for VA to Pay Local Providers
Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) visited Senior Helpers in Stratham to speak with care providers about the lengthy delays they have experienced getting their claims paid by the VA for treating veterans. Pappas, who chairs the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, has been the leader in Congress on resolving issues with the implementation of the MISSION Act causing local providers to face extreme delays in claims being paid by VA.
Senior Helpers is part of the VA’s Community Care Network, established by the MISSION Act. The VA’s implementation of the MISSION Act expanded veterans’ access to local providers through the creation of Community Care Networks. Although Community Care Networks are intended to become a long-term option to provide our veterans with better care, the transition has left regional providers with millions of dollars in unpaid claims.
Earlier this year, the New Hampshire Hospital Association estimated that 23 hospitals were awaiting payment for nearly $137 million in claims for VA community care, despite a majority of the services being provided in 2019.
Mounting unpaid claims have created intense financial strain for providers and even prompted some providers to stop caring for veterans altogether. This is causing veterans to lose their care or see delays in the care they need. Senior Helpers has received over $100,000 in back payments from the VA for their services since they contacted Rep. Pappas’s office for assistance resolving these claims.
“Veterans who have fought for this country should not have to face yet another battle to get the care they have earned when their service ends,” said Congressman Pappas. “Any provider - like Senior Helpers here in Stratham - who stands ready, willing, and eager to care for our veterans should not face a complicated and inefficient bureaucracy that forces them to lose time, money, and eventually the ability to care for veterans altogether. Community care opens the doors for critical services for our veterans, and I will continue to work with providers, VA, and third-party payers to fix this unacceptable situation.”
“Senior Helpers of Southern New Hampshire was honored to have Congressmen Chris Pappas and staff members visit their office in Stratham today.” said Wendy Buckley, Senior Director of Operations at Senior Helpers. “The Congressmen and his staff have been influential in helping us to obtain over $100,000 in back payments from the VA for their Community Cares Program with invoices dating back to February 2019. Once we began working with the Pappas team we began to receive payments starting to arrive within 14 days. We are a small business and without their assistance, we may have been forced to cease or decline Veterans for personal care services in their homes. We are extremely grateful.”
In February, Congressman Pappas chaired a hearing of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee on the challenges facing community care providers as a result of MISSION Act implementation and invited the co-founders of Veteran & First Responder Healthcare, a Manchester-based, veteran-owned community care provider.
Congressman Pappas led a bipartisan letter to the VA regarding this issue after hearing from local veterans and providers.
Earlier this year, Pappas secured the commitment of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie to resolve the ongoing problems facing VA’s Community Care Networks (CCN) during a Congressional hearing.
Furthermore, Congressman Pappas has met with VA community care providers and patients in Seabrook, Laconia, and Stratham. And he has convened meetings with New Hampshire Hospital Association and VA to discuss payment issues.