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Crapo, Tester Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Simplify State Veteran Home Inspections

Would decrease disruptive, duplicative surveys that divert time and care from veterans

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) today introduced bipartisan legislation to simplify the inspection process at State Veterans Homes (SVH) to help the nation’s veterans continue to receive high quality care by facilities unburdened by bureaucratic overlap.  

“Idaho’s three State Veterans Homes play an important role in the effort to address the unique medical and quality of life needs of Idaho’s veterans,” said Senator Crapo.  “Requiring these Homes to undergo duplicative surveys each year in order to maintain their certification disrupts the care and attention the veterans have earned through their service to our nation.  Our bill will remove overly burdensome and wasteful requirements but not compromise the high standard of care our veterans deserve.  If enacted, this bill will allow SVH staff to dedicate more time to their daily duties of caring for our nation’s heroes.” 

“State Veterans Homes provide our nation’s veterans and their families with high-quality care in a comfortable and safe environment,” said Senator Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  “In Montana, these facilities have helped provide critical care for our aging veterans, and we are excited to have recently broken ground on the new Southwest Montana Veterans Home in Butte.  This bipartisan bill with Senator Crapo will streamline inspections for these facilities by removing bureaucratic red tape and simplifying the inspection process.  Eliminating these burdensome requirements will help ensure State Veterans Homes continue to meet the health needs of our veterans while saving money for taxpayers.” 

“The removal of this federal duplicative process will allow our staff to focus on the health and wellbeing of our Veterans without any more risk to life and safety,” said Marv Hagedorn, Idaho Division of Veterans Services Administrator.  “It’s a common sense action that will benefit care givers, Veterans and taxpayers alike!” 

“The National Association of State Veterans Homes is extremely pleased that Senator Mike Crapo and Senator Jon Tester have introduced S. 3350, the State Veterans Home Simplification Act, commonsense, bipartisan legislation to eliminate duplicative federal inspection surveys,” said Mark Bowman, President of the National Association of State Veterans Homes.   “S. 3350 will not only bring bureaucratic relief to State Veterans Homes around the country and save taxpayers from the cost of redundant inspections, it will also prevent unnecessary disruptions for veterans residing in State Veterans Homes, while maintaining  the highest levels of safety and quality of care.” 

There are 156 State Veterans Homes across all 50 states, which provide care to over 20,000 veterans.  Current law mandates that all SVHs be subject to annual inspections by the VA to maintain their certification.  Two-thirds of SVHs must undergo an additional, nearly identical CMS inspection in order to receive Medicare/Medicaid payments.  These surveys take staff time and resources away from the attention provided to the veterans receiving care at the facilities.  The State Veterans Home Inspection Simplification Act, S. 3350, would allow SVHs to forgo a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) survey if they meet all requirements of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) survey, allowing SVHs to undergo only one survey per year. 

S. 3350 is the companion legislation to H.R. 4138, which is co-sponsored by Representative Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho).  Full text of the Senate bill can be found HERE