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DOL RULE CHANGES EFFECTIVE 4.9.2019

March 20, 2019

March 20, 2019

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CWP Blog

By: Susan Adkisson

What does this mean for the patient or prospective patient with regards to approval of illnesses, the need for in-home care, etc.?  Please refer to the Cold War Patriots (CWP) website, www.coldwarpatriots.org/DOLchange for information and updates on these Rule Changes.

Rule Changes can be viewed at https://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy (Under heading Laws and Related Materials click “EEOICPA as Amended by Public Law 115-91” then they are noted on the bottom bullet.)

If you go to the CWP website, noted above, you will find direction for everyone including whom to contact as well as updates and latest developments on these Rule Changes.

One large home care agency, Professional Case Management (PCM), is trying to get the changes reversed either for the short or long term, or to even have Alexander Acosta pause/withdraw these changes.  Alexander Acosta is the current Secretary of Labor, appointed in February 2017 by President Trump.  Professional Case Management has now initiated a lawsuit against the DOL as a result of feeling there was no other choice in order to protect the rights of YOU, the worker. PCM President Greg Austin stated, “We didn’t want to resort to a lawsuit, but felt we had no choice as the DOL ignored not only our concerns but virtually all of the concerns that were raised and the recommendations that were shared.”  High concentrations of these workers reside in Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, New York, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and Washington.

As the Regional Director of Cold War Patriots, I am encouraging you to follow this website to keep apprised of these upcoming changes. These changes have been in the works since November 2015 and even though there was a “public comment period,” over the holiday season, a large majority of these comments had no action taken on them. Numerous organizations (claimants, authorized representatives, physicians, attorneys, home health care providers, family members, Advisory Board on Toxic Substance and Worker Health members) responded with over 500 comments during the public comment period and these comments virtually had no action taken. The Advisory Board on Toxic Substance and Worker Health was established, with bipartisan support in Congress, and signed into law by the U.S. President to advise DOL on how to improve the EEOICPA program. These organizations felt they were in a better position to fully understand what the patient’s needs were.

We, at Cold War Patriots, are here to help the claimants navigate the complicated DOL program and to assist you in getting the services you deserve and so badly need.

The DOL’s Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) originally promised workers that they would be taken care of after they were exposed to radiation and toxins and may now be sick and dying from illnesses related to these exposures. This began with the Manhattan Project and applies to current workers. As the program has evolved, work related illnesses, in-home care, and other services have become increasingly difficult to get approved.

Just a sample of the rule changes include:

– Pre-authorization for initial in-home care, nursing home, and assisted living care and does not allow health care professionals to assist patients in the process.

– Preventing health care professionals from assisting their patients in submitting the necessary paperwork to the DOL for approval. Instead, these sick and elderly workers must themselves fill out and navigate various forms, ensure their accuracy, and get them to the proper location for possible approval.

– A potential delay of care by 60 days or more in approval, which could prevent sick and dying workers the ability to receive needed in home care.

-The ability to change physicians is left to the discretion of the DOL.

-Out-of-pocket reimbursements are changing.

We are encouraging you to contact Alexander Acosta’s office and ask him to STOP the rule changes going into effect on 4.9.2019. You may reach his office at [email protected] or 866-301-0070.  You may voice your concerns over these changes and ask him to withdraw the Final Rules.

REMEMBER THE SAYING: “It takes a Village!”