VA Community Care Networks also within the agency’s jurisdiction
On June 6, 2018, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) MISSION (Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks) Act of 2018 was signed into law to: (1) provide veterans with access to health care in VA facilities and communities, (2) expand benefits for caregivers, and (3) improve the agency’s ability to retain and recruit good medical providers. The final rule was released on June 6, 2019. The Act addresses Veterans Care Agreements (VCAs) which provide the agency with “the authority to enter into…arrangements to address gaps in care that may arise in hospital care, medical services, and/or extended care services.” Section 107 of the Act exempted federal contractors who enter into Veterans Care Agreements (VCAs) with the VA from OFCCP jurisdiction.
Recently, in conjunction with reviewing the TRICARE moratorium, OFCCP also addressed the exemption under the VA MISSION Act with respect to VCAs. Despite the statutory language in 38 U.S.C. § 1703A and/or 38 U.S.C. § 1745, OFCCP’s position is that VCAs are under their jurisdiction since the language in 38 U.S.C. § 1703A states that VCAs are subject to “all laws that protect against employment discrimination or that otherwise ensure equal employment opportunities.” Additionally, OFCCP claims that the “statutory language of the Act, standing alone, does not serve to remove these agreements from OFCCP’s authority.”
At the same time OFCCP addressed the VA Community Care Networks (CCNs) and determined that they are also not exempt from the agency’s jurisdiction since CCNs are typically competitively bid federal contracts. A CCN is a “third-party network manager that is a prime contractor with the VA.”
Contractors with VCAs should be aware of OFCCP’s recent announcement to determine the need for additional compliance support.