DOL Rule Changes
DOL Takes Another Whack at EEOICP Health Care Benefits
Latest blow contradicts doctors’ orders and limits access to medically necessary nursing care
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP) is a vital program that provides medical benefits and compensation to nuclear defense and uranium workers. Not only did the DOL ignore the more than 2,000 emails and calls from former workers asking to stop the recent rule changes that adversely affected the timeliness of health care covered under the EEOICP, it has additionally implemented a policy that represents a new low in EEOICP history.
On April 25, the DOL issued Circular No. 19-03, which was positioned as a routine update to clarify how the Department evaluates requests for case management nursing care. As part of its “clarification”, it unveiled a significant reduction in medically necessary nursing care—a change that became effective immediately without any advance notice, leaving many critically ill patients exposed. For a change of this magnitude, and one that directly affects the care and well-being of patients, to be implemented without advance notice is beyond irresponsible.
Now, instead of patients being able to receive up to 15+ hours per month of physician-prescribed nursing care, the DOL is limiting that to 15 minutes per week, hardly enough time to coordinate services for gravely ill patients who often require complex care from multiple providers.
This action by the DOL, which reverses standard practice that has been in place for nearly 18 years since the program’s inception, affects nearly 100% of patients covered by the EEOICP. It comes on the heels of the lawsuit that was filed by Professional Case Management in March to challenge the rule changes that threatened to delay care and make the benefits application process significantly more cumbersome.
This is unacceptable. The DOL must not be allowed to stealthily chip away at the benefits of nuclear defense workers who were at the heart of our great nation’s defense. It’s time to raise your concerns to the DOL and to the President, who is the only one who can influence the DOL to do the right thing. President Trump has often highlighted his support of America’s heroes, including a proclamation on Veterans Day in 2017 that read in part: “We will not rest until all of America’s great veterans can receive the care they so richly deserve.” We now hope the Administration will intervene on behalf of those who sacrificed their health in building our nuclear defense.
Please email the President now at [email protected] or call toll-free at 866-309-2134. You may also call the Acting Secretary of Labor at: 202-693-6035. Tell them that the DOL must roll back the policy change limiting nursing care to 15 minutes per week.
In the meantime, please share this information with your family and friends and encourage them to raise their concerns as well.
If you still have questions about these rule changes, call us toll-free at 866-301-0412.
As always, thank you for your support.
With these changes, the DOL is going back on that promise. Hear directly from workers impacted by these changes.
This battle goes back more than three years when the U.S. DOL first proposed the rule changes. PCM shared many concerns with the DOL including the introduction of preauthorization for care, a 36-step process to do so, while preventing health care professionals to assist in the process. This new process can cause up to a 60 day delay in care authorization. Cold War Patriots, as a division of PCM, also shared many of your concerns, along with many other organizations from the nuclear defense and uranium community. Nearly 2000 comments were shared, most of them objecting to the proposed rule changes.
After three years without any communication, the U.S. DOL abruptly published the final rule changes in February of this year. We were outraged to see that it had ignored practically every concern expressed. Feeling there was no other choice, PCM took legal action. The lawsuit alleges that the rule changes will make it much more difficult for patients to access the care they need in a timely fashion. The hope is that the U.S. DOL will be convinced instead to work collaboratively with stakeholders like you.
We will continue to keep you updated on the progress with the lawsuit. In the meantime, we hope you will share this information with your family and friends. Additional information on the lawsuit and the rule changes can be found at www.coldwarpatriots.org/dolchange/faq. If you still have questions, feel free to call us toll-free at 866-301-0412.
March 21, 2019 Discussions with Deb: New DOL Restrictions
Identifying new restrictions from the DOL. Read more…
March 21, 2019 Talk to Terrie: The DOL Case Management Changes
A discussion about the DOL Case Management Changes. Learn more…
May 20, 2019 Challenge to DOL Rule Changes Continues
To read more about the challenge, Click here.
March 19, 2019 Professional Case Management Lawsuit
To read the full details of PCM’s Legal Complaint, Read more here.
March 19, 2019 Professional Case Management Lawsuit FAQ
PCM has provided some answers to frequently asked questions about the rule changes. Read more…
March 18, 2019 Professional Case Management News Release
Lawsuit Filed Against U.S. Dept. of Labor Over Rule that Could Prevent Thousands of Sick and Dying Workers From Receiving Health Care. Read more…