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Department of Veterans Affairs

Immigration Health Services Restrictions

Currently, the Ice Health Service Corps reimburses providers who give healthcare to illegal immigrants who are in border patrol custody. Much of this healthcare is often frivolous, such as an ambulance ride and emergency room treatment for chapped lips, which was an actual paid claim. Many of these services are needed, such as TB screenings and true emergency services, but the rest are not. I suggest tighter restrictions on what is allowable for payment and what is not. An authorization for treatment even states, "IHSC renders no decision as to medical necessity or appropriatness for the requested treatment, but only acts as intermediary for payment of claims." If the IHSC is not checking for medical appropriatness, then who is? The providers will charge for anything they can possibly think of. The IHSC constantly runs out of funds for payments, and when this happens, interest collects on the claims that are holding for funds. By restricting what is paid, the IHSC would no longer run out of funds so frequently, and interest could avoid being paid.

The last fund issue to IHSC was around 7 million, and a majority of that was issued for back payment and interest. That will last possibly 2-3 months at best, even less with more claims that are being held for funding. At this rate, there will never be a "break even" point where funds are for current claims only. By stopping frivolous charges and claims, roughly 5 million of that previous 7 could be saved. I suggest the same restrictions for ORR as well. ORR is in charge of minor immigrants in custody. By actually reviewing for medical appropriateness and auditing, as well as restricting payable services to preventative and emergent only, the government could save millions per MONTH, up to about 50 million per year. There are millions of acutal citizens, as well as homeless veterans that have no form of healthcare, and it upsetting to see so much money wasted when it could be used to help them.

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Idea No. 14941