Reimbursement for Caskets and Urns for Burial of Unclaimed Remains in a National Cemetery or a VA-Funded State or Tribal Veterans' Cemetery
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is updating the monetary reimbursement rates for caskets and urns purchased for the interment in a VA national cemetery or a VA-funded state or tribal veterans' cemetery of Veterans who die with no known next of kin and where there are insufficient resources for furnishing a burial container. The purpose of this notice is to notify interested parties of the rates that will apply to reimbursement claims that occur during calendar year (CY) 2019.
Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Amendments
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is providing public notice of inflationary adjustments to the maximum civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by VA, as implemented by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, for calendar year 2019. VA may impose civil monetary penalties for false loan guaranty certifications. Also, VA may impose civil monetary penalties for fraudulent claims or written statements made in connection with VA programs generally. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, sets forth a formula that increases the maximum statutory amounts for civil monetary penalties and directs VA to give public notice of the new maximum amounts by regulation. Accordingly, VA is providing notice of the calendar year 2019 inflationary adjustments that increase maximum civil monetary penalties from $22,363 to $22,927 for false loan guaranty certifications and from $11,181 to $11,463 for fraudulent claims or written statements made in connection with VA programs generally.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend its regulations that govern VA health care. This rule would grant eligible veterans access to urgent care from qualifying non-VA entities or providers without prior approval from VA. This rulemaking would implement the mandates of the VA MISSION Act of 2018 and increase veterans' access to health care in the community.
Loan Guaranty: Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant Program
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing the availability of funds for the Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology (SAHAT) Grant Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. The objective of the grant is to encourage the development of new assistive technologies for specially adapted housing. This notice is intended to provide applicants with the information necessary to apply for the SAHAT Grant Program. VA strongly recommends referring to the Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant Program regulation in conjunction with this notice. The registration process described in this notice applies only to applicants who will register to submit project applications for FY 2019 SAHAT Grant Program funds.
Confidentiality of Certain Medical Records Under the MISSION Act
This Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) document provides an update to VA's requirements for obtaining a signed release of information for third party billing practices from VA beneficiaries with a sensitive diagnosis under the United States Code to align with the amendments made by the VA MISSION Act of 2018.
VA Claims and Appeals Modernization
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its claims adjudication, appeals, and Rules of Practice of the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board) regulations. In addition, this rule revises VA's regulations with respect to accreditation of attorneys, agents, and Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representatives; the standards of conduct for persons practicing before VA; and the rules governing fees for representation. This rulemaking implements the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which amended the procedures applicable to administrative review and appeal of VA decisions on claims for benefits, creating a new, modernized review system. Unless otherwise specified in this final rule, VA amends its regulations applicable to all claims processed under the new review system, which generally applies where an initial VA decision on a claim is provided on or after the effective date or where a claimant has elected to opt into the new review system under established procedures. For the reasons set forth in the proposed rule and in this final rule, VA is adopting the proposed rule as final, with minor changes, as explained below.