Home Visits in Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers During COVID-19 National Emergency, 34522-34524 [2020-12359]

Download as PDF lotter on DSK9F5VC42PROD with RULES 34522 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 109 / Friday, June 5, 2020 / Rules and Regulations between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132. Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. INFORMATION CONTACT E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531–1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble. Authority: 46 U.S.C. 70034, 70051; 33 CFR 1.05–1, 6.04–1, 6.04–6 and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. F. Environment We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023–01, Rev. 1, associated implementing instructions, and Environmental Planning COMDTINST 5090.1 (series), which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321–4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a security zone that will prohibit entry within navigable waters outlined in the Discussion of the Rule above. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023–01–001–01, Rev. 1. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket. For insturctions on locating the docket, see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. G. Protest Activities The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to call or email the person listed in the FOR FURTHER VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Jun 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels. List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165 Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and record keeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways. For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows: PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: ■ 2. Add § 165.T07–0264 to read as follows: ■ § 165.T07–0264 Security Zone; HMS MEDWAY, St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FL. (a) Location. The following is a security zone: The security zone will encompass navigable waters within a 500 yard radius around HMS MEDWAY during the vessel’s transit from the St. Johns River Entrance Buoy to it’s assigned berth at BAE Systems Shipyard, Mayport, FL, and will remain around the vessel while docked at BAE Systems Shipyard. (b) Definitions. As used in this section, designated representative means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and Federal, State, and local officers designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Jacksonville (COTP) in the enforcement of the security zone. (c) Regulations. (1) All persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Jacksonville or a designated representative. (2) Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area may contact the Captain of the Port Jacksonville by telephone at (904) 714– 7557, or a designated representative via VHF–FM radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization is granted, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the COTP Jacksonville or a designated representative. PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (3) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area through Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF– FM channel 16 or by on-scene designated representatives. (d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 4 a.m. May 17, 2020 until 4 p.m. on June 14, 2020. Dated: May 15, 2020. M.R. Vlaun, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Jacksonville. [FR Doc. 2020–12245 Filed 6–4–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 71 RIN 2900–AQ96 Home Visits in Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers During COVID–19 National Emergency Department of Veterans Affairs Interim final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is revising its regulations that govern VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) to relax the requirement for in-person home visits during the National Emergency related to Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID– 19). This change is required to ensure the safety and well-being of veterans, caregivers, and VA clinical staff. DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective on June 5, 2020. Comment Date: Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2020. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through http:// www.Regulations.gov; by mail or handdelivery to the Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1064, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273–9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to ‘‘RIN 2900–AQ96, Home Visits in Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers During COVID–19 National Emergency.’’ Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1064, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461–4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05JNR1.SGM 05JNR1 lotter on DSK9F5VC42PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 109 / Friday, June 5, 2020 / Rules and Regulations addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System at http://www.Regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elyse Kaplan, National Deputy Director, Caregiver Support Program, Care Management and Social Work, 10P4C, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461–7337. (This is not a toll-free number.) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title I of Public Law 111–163, Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 (hereinafter referred to as ‘‘the Caregivers Act’’), established section 1720G(a) of title 38 of the United States Code (U.S.C.), which required VA to establish a Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) for eligible veterans who have a serious injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001. The Caregivers Act also required VA to establish a Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS), pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 1720G(b), which is available to caregivers of covered veterans of all eras of military service. VA implemented PCAFC and PGCSS through its regulations in part 71 of title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Through PCAFC, VA provides Family Caregivers of eligible veterans (as those terms are defined in 38 CFR 71.15) certain benefits, such as training, respite care, counseling, technical support, beneficiary travel (to attend required caregiver training and for an eligible veteran’s medical appointments), a monthly stipend payment, and access to health care (if qualified) through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). 38 U.S.C. 1720G(a)(3), 38 CFR 71.40. This interim final rule relates to PCAFC. VA is adding a new § 71.60 to title 38, CFR, to provide flexibility in the mode by which VA conducts PCAFC home visits for the duration of the National Emergency related to COVID–19 declared by the President on March 13, 2020 (the COVID–19 National Emergency). COVID–19 is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. Many individuals and communities across the country have taken steps to reduce the spread of COVID–19, including isolating individuals diagnosed with the disease and implementing physical distancing measures. The priority goal in the VA response to COVID–19 is the protection VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Jun 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 of veterans, their caregivers, and VA staff. To reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID–19 to individuals involved in PCAFC, as well as members of their households and others with whom they come into contact who may be affected, VA is relaxing PCAFC home visit requirements as set forth in this interim final rule. This is especially important given the vulnerable population of veterans served by PCAFC. Pursuant to § 71.60, VA will have flexibility to conduct home visits through means other than in-person visits, including videoconference or other available telehealth modalities. Section 71.60 will only apply to home visits under part 71 and will not apply to other parts of title 38, CFR. This interim final rule has an immediate impact on the mode by which VA completes the initial homecare assessments required by 38 CFR 71.25(e). Section 71.25(e) sets forth the requirement for an initial home-care assessment prior to approval and designation of a Family Caregiver under PCAFC. Section 71.25(e) currently requires ‘‘a VA clinician or a clinical team [to] visit the eligible veteran’s home to assess the caregiver’s completion of training and competence to provide personal care services at the eligible veteran’s home, and to measure the eligible veteran’s well being.’’ Pursuant to § 71.60, a VA clinician or clinical team is no longer required to conduct an in-person visit in the eligible veteran’s home to satisfy this requirement for the duration the COVID–19 National Emergency. Section 71.60 may also impact the home visit requirements proposed by VA on March 6, 2020 in RIN 2900– AQ48, Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Improvements and Amendments Under the VA MISSION Act of 2018. 85 FR 13356. The proposed rule references a home visit in proposed § 71.25(e) with respect to the initial home-care assessment, specifies that reassessments under proposed § 71.30 may include a visit to the eligible veteran’s home, and proposes to require an annual home visit in proposed § 71.40(b)(2) for purposes of wellness contacts. For the duration of the COVID–19 National Emergency, § 71.60 will authorize VA to complete these home visits through means other than an in-person visit to the eligible veteran’s home, such as videoconference or other available telehealth modalities. Administrative Procedure Act The Secretary of Veterans Affairs finds that there is good cause under the PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34523 provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), to publish this interim final rule without prior notice and the opportunity for public comment, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), to dispense with the delayed effective date ordinarily prescribed by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Pursuant to section 553(b)(B) of the APA, general notice and the opportunity for public comment are not required with respect to a rulemaking when an ‘‘agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.’’ The Secretary finds that it is contrary to the public interest to delay issuance of this rule for the purpose of soliciting prior public comment because there is an immediate and pressing public health risk for veterans, caregivers, and clinical staff involved in PCAFC home visits, as well as members of their households and others with whom they come into contact who may be affected. Mandating an in-person visit to an eligible veteran’s home through PCAFC could increase the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID–19, and it is critical that VA have immediate flexibility to conduct home visits through other means. For these reasons, the Secretary has concluded that ordinary notice and comment procedures would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest and is accordingly issuing this rule as an interim final rule. The Secretary will consider and address comments that are received within 30 days after the date that this interim final rule is published in the Federal Register and address them in a subsequent Federal Register document announcing a final rule incorporating any changes made in response to the public comments. The APA also requires a 30-day delayed effective date, except for ‘‘(1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction; (2) interpretative rules and statements of policy; or (3) as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.’’ 5 U.S.C. 553(d). For the reasons stated above, the Secretary finds that there is also good cause for this interim rule to be effective immediately upon publication. It is in the public interest for VA to have flexibility to utilize alternative modalities to conduct required home visits during the COVID– 19 National Emergency, and this will be facilitated by an immediate effective date. Additionally, this rule relieves a E:\FR\FM\05JNR1.SGM 05JNR1 34524 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 109 / Friday, June 5, 2020 / Rules and Regulations restriction by expanding the modes by which the home visits can be completed. Instead of requiring such visits to be completed through in-person visits to the eligible veteran’s home, for the duration of the COVID–19 National Emergency, PCAFC home visits can be completed through other means, including videoconference or other available telehealth modalities. By relieving a restriction and because any delay in implementation of § 71.60 would be contrary to the public interest under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) and (3), respectively, this interim final rule is exempt from the APA’s delayed effective date requirement. Paperwork Reduction Act This interim final rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501– 3521). lotter on DSK9F5VC42PROD with RULES Regulatory Flexibility Act The Secretary hereby certifies that this interim final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–612). This interim final rule provides flexibility in the modes by which VA conducts PCAFC home visits for the duration of the National Emergency related to COVID–19 and does not affect small businesses. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 do not apply. Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771 Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. VA’s impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http:// www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Jun 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA’s website at http:// www.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for ‘‘VA Regulations Published From FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.’’ This interim final rule is considered an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action. Details on the estimated cost savings of this interim final rule can be found in the rule’s economic analysis. The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This interim final rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector. Congressional Review Act Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this rule as not a major rule, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this document are 64.009, Veterans Medical Care Benefits. List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 71 Administrative practice and procedure, Caregivers program, Claims, Health care, Health facilities, Health professions, Mental health programs, Travel and transportation expenses, Veterans. Signing Authority The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Brooks D. Tucker, Acting Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on June 3, 2020, for publication. Consuela Benjamin, Regulation Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs. For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of Veterans Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 PART 71—CAREGIVERS BENEFITS AND CERTAIN MEDICAL BENEFITS OFFERED TO FAMILY MEMBERS OF VETERANS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 1720G, unless otherwise noted. ■ Unfunded Mandates PO 00000 Affairs amends 38 CFR part 71 as follows: Sfmt 4700 2. Add § 71.60 to read as follows: § 71.60 Home Visits During COVID–19 National Emergency. Notwithstanding the requirements in this part, for the duration of the National Emergency related to COVID– 19 declared by the President on March 13, 2020, VA may complete visits to the eligible veteran’s home under this part through videoconference or other available telehealth modalities. [FR Doc. 2020–12359 Filed 6–4–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R01–OAR–2020–0029; FRL–10010– 00–Region 1] Air Plan Approval; New Hampshire; Negative Declaration for the Oil and Gas Industry; Withdrawal of Direct Final Rule Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Withdrawal of direct final rule. AGENCY: Due to the receipt of adverse comments, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing the April 6, 2020 direct final rule approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of New Hampshire. New Hampshire’s SIP revision provided a negative declaration for EPA’s 2016 Control Technique Guideline for the oil and gas industry. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act. DATES: The direct final rule published at 85 FR 19087 on April 6, 2020 is withdrawn effective June 5, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob McConnell, Environmental Engineer, Air and Radiation Division (Mail Code 05–2), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, Massachusetts, 02109–3912; (617) 918–1046. mcconnell.robert@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In the direct final rule, EPA stated that if SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05JNR1.SGM 05JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 109 (Friday, June 5, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 34522-34524]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-12359]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 71

RIN 2900-AQ96


Home Visits in Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family 
Caregivers During COVID-19 National Emergency

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs

ACTION: Interim final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is revising its 
regulations that govern VA's Program of Comprehensive Assistance for 
Family Caregivers (PCAFC) to relax the requirement for in-person home 
visits during the National Emergency related to Coronavirus Disease-
2019 (COVID-19). This change is required to ensure the safety and well-
being of veterans, caregivers, and VA clinical staff.

DATES: 
    Effective Date: This rule is effective on June 5, 2020.
    Comment Date: Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through http://www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to the Director, Office 
of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans 
Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1064, Washington, DC 20420; or by 
fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted 
in response to ``RIN 2900-AQ96, Home Visits in Program of Comprehensive 
Assistance for Family Caregivers During COVID-19 National Emergency.'' 
Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in 
the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1064, between the 
hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (except 
holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not 
a toll-free number.) In

[[Page 34523]]

addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online 
through the Federal Docket Management System at http://www.Regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elyse Kaplan, National Deputy 
Director, Caregiver Support Program, Care Management and Social Work, 
10P4C, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 
810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-7337. (This is not 
a toll-free number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title I of Public Law 111-163, Caregivers 
and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 (hereinafter referred 
to as ``the Caregivers Act''), established section 1720G(a) of title 38 
of the United States Code (U.S.C.), which required VA to establish a 
Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) for 
eligible veterans who have a serious injury incurred or aggravated in 
the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001. The Caregivers Act 
also required VA to establish a Program of General Caregiver Support 
Services (PGCSS), pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 1720G(b), which is available to 
caregivers of covered veterans of all eras of military service. VA 
implemented PCAFC and PGCSS through its regulations in part 71 of title 
38 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Through PCAFC, VA provides 
Family Caregivers of eligible veterans (as those terms are defined in 
38 CFR 71.15) certain benefits, such as training, respite care, 
counseling, technical support, beneficiary travel (to attend required 
caregiver training and for an eligible veteran's medical appointments), 
a monthly stipend payment, and access to health care (if qualified) 
through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). 38 U.S.C. 1720G(a)(3), 38 CFR 71.40. This 
interim final rule relates to PCAFC.
    VA is adding a new Sec.  71.60 to title 38, CFR, to provide 
flexibility in the mode by which VA conducts PCAFC home visits for the 
duration of the National Emergency related to COVID-19 declared by the 
President on March 13, 2020 (the COVID-19 National Emergency). COVID-19 
is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can 
spread from person to person. Many individuals and communities across 
the country have taken steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, 
including isolating individuals diagnosed with the disease and 
implementing physical distancing measures. The priority goal in the VA 
response to COVID-19 is the protection of veterans, their caregivers, 
and VA staff. To reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of 
COVID-19 to individuals involved in PCAFC, as well as members of their 
households and others with whom they come into contact who may be 
affected, VA is relaxing PCAFC home visit requirements as set forth in 
this interim final rule. This is especially important given the 
vulnerable population of veterans served by PCAFC. Pursuant to Sec.  
71.60, VA will have flexibility to conduct home visits through means 
other than in-person visits, including videoconference or other 
available telehealth modalities. Section 71.60 will only apply to home 
visits under part 71 and will not apply to other parts of title 38, 
CFR.
    This interim final rule has an immediate impact on the mode by 
which VA completes the initial home-care assessments required by 38 CFR 
71.25(e). Section 71.25(e) sets forth the requirement for an initial 
home-care assessment prior to approval and designation of a Family 
Caregiver under PCAFC. Section 71.25(e) currently requires ``a VA 
clinician or a clinical team [to] visit the eligible veteran's home to 
assess the caregiver's completion of training and competence to provide 
personal care services at the eligible veteran's home, and to measure 
the eligible veteran's well being.'' Pursuant to Sec.  71.60, a VA 
clinician or clinical team is no longer required to conduct an in-
person visit in the eligible veteran's home to satisfy this requirement 
for the duration the COVID-19 National Emergency.
    Section 71.60 may also impact the home visit requirements proposed 
by VA on March 6, 2020 in RIN 2900-AQ48, Program of Comprehensive 
Assistance for Family Caregivers Improvements and Amendments Under the 
VA MISSION Act of 2018. 85 FR 13356. The proposed rule references a 
home visit in proposed Sec.  71.25(e) with respect to the initial home-
care assessment, specifies that reassessments under proposed Sec.  
71.30 may include a visit to the eligible veteran's home, and proposes 
to require an annual home visit in proposed Sec.  71.40(b)(2) for 
purposes of wellness contacts. For the duration of the COVID-19 
National Emergency, Sec.  71.60 will authorize VA to complete these 
home visits through means other than an in-person visit to the eligible 
veteran's home, such as videoconference or other available telehealth 
modalities.

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs finds that there is good cause 
under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), to publish this interim 
final rule without prior notice and the opportunity for public comment, 
and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), to dispense with the delayed effective date 
ordinarily prescribed by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
    Pursuant to section 553(b)(B) of the APA, general notice and the 
opportunity for public comment are not required with respect to a 
rulemaking when an ``agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the 
finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) 
that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, 
unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' The Secretary finds 
that it is contrary to the public interest to delay issuance of this 
rule for the purpose of soliciting prior public comment because there 
is an immediate and pressing public health risk for veterans, 
caregivers, and clinical staff involved in PCAFC home visits, as well 
as members of their households and others with whom they come into 
contact who may be affected. Mandating an in-person visit to an 
eligible veteran's home through PCAFC could increase the risk of 
exposure to and transmission of COVID-19, and it is critical that VA 
have immediate flexibility to conduct home visits through other means. 
For these reasons, the Secretary has concluded that ordinary notice and 
comment procedures would be impracticable and contrary to the public 
interest and is accordingly issuing this rule as an interim final rule. 
The Secretary will consider and address comments that are received 
within 30 days after the date that this interim final rule is published 
in the Federal Register and address them in a subsequent Federal 
Register document announcing a final rule incorporating any changes 
made in response to the public comments.
    The APA also requires a 30-day delayed effective date, except for 
``(1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or 
relieves a restriction; (2) interpretative rules and statements of 
policy; or (3) as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found 
and published with the rule.'' 5 U.S.C. 553(d). For the reasons stated 
above, the Secretary finds that there is also good cause for this 
interim rule to be effective immediately upon publication. It is in the 
public interest for VA to have flexibility to utilize alternative 
modalities to conduct required home visits during the COVID-19 National 
Emergency, and this will be facilitated by an immediate effective date. 
Additionally, this rule relieves a

[[Page 34524]]

restriction by expanding the modes by which the home visits can be 
completed. Instead of requiring such visits to be completed through in-
person visits to the eligible veteran's home, for the duration of the 
COVID-19 National Emergency, PCAFC home visits can be completed through 
other means, including videoconference or other available telehealth 
modalities. By relieving a restriction and because any delay in 
implementation of Sec.  71.60 would be contrary to the public interest 
under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) and (3), respectively, this interim final rule 
is exempt from the APA's delayed effective date requirement.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This interim final rule contains no provisions constituting a 
collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501-3521).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this interim final rule will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601-612). This interim final rule provides flexibility in the 
modes by which VA conducts PCAFC home visits for the duration of the 
National Emergency related to COVID-19 and does not affect small 
businesses. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the initial and 
final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 
604 do not apply.

Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; 
and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. 
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that 
this rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 
12866.
    VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at 
http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the 
rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the 
rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's website at 
http://www.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for ``VA Regulations 
Published From FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.''
    This interim final rule is considered an E.O. 13771 deregulatory 
action. Details on the estimated cost savings of this interim final 
rule can be found in the rule's economic analysis.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any one year. This interim final rule will have no such 
effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private 
sector.

Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this rule 
as not a major rule, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for 
the programs affected by this document are 64.009, Veterans Medical 
Care Benefits.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 71

    Administrative practice and procedure, Caregivers program, Claims, 
Health care, Health facilities, Health professions, Mental health 
programs, Travel and transportation expenses, Veterans.

Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this 
document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document 
to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as 
an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Brooks D. 
Tucker, Acting Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved 
this document on June 3, 2020, for publication.

Consuela Benjamin,
Regulation Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & 
Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of Veterans 
Affairs amends 38 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71--CAREGIVERS BENEFITS AND CERTAIN MEDICAL BENEFITS OFFERED 
TO FAMILY MEMBERS OF VETERANS

0
1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 1720G, unless otherwise noted.


0
2. Add Sec.  71.60 to read as follows:


Sec.  71.60  Home Visits During COVID-19 National Emergency.

    Notwithstanding the requirements in this part, for the duration of 
the National Emergency related to COVID-19 declared by the President on 
March 13, 2020, VA may complete visits to the eligible veteran's home 
under this part through videoconference or other available telehealth 
modalities.

[FR Doc. 2020-12359 Filed 6-4-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 8320-01-P