National Association of Government Contractors


Mission Act to Exempt from Contractor Obligations

The U.S. Senate has passed a comprehensive bill-- which had already passed the house -- called the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (or the VA MISSION Act of 2018 (H.R. 5674)). The legislation permits the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enter into provider agreements for “extended care” providers. 
 
The legislation would remove obligations from authorized provider agreements, which had previously dissuaded many long-term care providers from entering into contracts with the VA.  
 
The act would clarify that agreements to participate in Medicare and Medicaid would specify that such participation is a “grant,” and does not make providers “federal contractors.” 
 
Federal contracts would subject providers to many onerous obligations, such as the preparation of affirmative action programs, the minimum wage requirement, and other related requirements. Once effective, the VA Mission Act would eliminate these additional burdens and insulate participants in provider agreements, referred to in the legislation as “Veterans Care Agreements,” from being considered federal contractors. 
 
The legislation provides that covered providers will be subject to the same affirmative action moratorium as is applied to TRICARE contractors and subcontractor, but according to VA staff, providers would have to wait at least a year so that the VA could implement regulations and make the new provider agreements available.
 
The legislation itself states that the effective date of the legislation would be the later of “(1) the date that is 30 days after the date on which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs submits the report required under section 101(q)(2) of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 . . . or (2) the date on which the Secretary promulgates regulations pursuant to subsection (c),” which requires that those regulations be issued not later than one year after the enactment of the Act. It appears that the second effective date would likely be the one that would apply.



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