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Notice

Reasonable Charges for Medical Care or Services; 2006 Calendar Year Update

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AGENCY:

Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

Section 17.101 of Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations sets forth the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical regulations concerning “reasonable charges” for medical care or services provided or furnished by VA to a veteran:

—For a nonservice-connected disability for which the veteran is entitled to care (or the payment of expenses of care) under a health plan contract;

—For a nonservice-connected disability incurred incident to the veteran's employment and covered under a worker's compensation law or plan that provides reimbursement or indemnification for such care and services; or

—For a nonservice-connected disability incurred as a result of a motor vehicle accident in a State that requires automobile accident reparations insurance.

The regulations include methodologies for establishing billed amounts for the following types of charges: Acute inpatient facility charges; skilled nursing facility/sub-acute inpatient facility charges; partial hospitalization facility charges; outpatient facility charges; physician and other professional charges, including professional charges for anesthesia services and dental services; pathology and laboratory charges; observation care facility charges; ambulance and other emergency transportation charges; and charges for durable medical equipment, drugs, injectables, and other medical services, items, and supplies identified by Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Level II codes. The regulations also provide that data for calculating actual charge amounts at individual VA facilities based on these methodologies will either be published in a notice in the Federal Register or will be posted on the Internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, currently at http://www.va.gov/​cbo, under “Charge Data.” Some of these charges are hereby updated as described in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. These changes are effective January 1, 2006.

When charges for medical care or services provided or furnished at VA expense by either VA or non-VA providers have not been established under other provisions of the regulations, the method for determining VA's charges is set forth at 38 CFR 17.101(a)(8).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Romona Greene, Chief Business Office (168), Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 254-0361. (This is not a toll free number.)

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Of the charge types listed in the Summary section of this notice, acute inpatient facility charges and skilled nursing facility/sub-acute inpatient facility charges are not being changed. Acute inpatient facility charges remain the same as set forth in a notice published in the Federal Register on September 28, 2005 (70 FR 56772). Skilled nursing facility/sub-acute inpatient facility charges remain the same as set forth in a notice published in the Federal Register on September 28, 2005 (70 FR 56772).

Based on the methodologies set forth in 38 CFR 17.101, this document provides an update to charges for 2006 HCPCS Level II and Current Procedural Technology (CPT) codes. Charges are also being updated based on more recent versions of data sources for the following charge types: Partial hospitalization facility charges; outpatient facility charges; physician and other professional charges, including professional charges for anesthesia services and dental services; pathology and laboratory charges; observation care facility charges; ambulance and other emergency transportation charges; and charges for durable medical equipment, drugs, injectables, and other medical services, items, and supplies identified by HCPCS Level II codes. These updated charges are effective January 1, 2006.

In this update, we are retaining the table designations used in the notice published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2005 (70 FR 18466). Accordingly, the tables identified as being updated by this notice correspond to the applicable tables published in the notice, beginning with Table C.

We have updated the list of data sources presented in Supplementary Table 1 to reflect the updated data sources used to establish the updated charges described in this notice.

As a reminder, in Supplementary Table 3 published in the Federal Register dated September 28, 2005, we set forth the list of VA medical facility locations, which includes their three-digit Zip Codes and provider based/non-provider based designations. In accordance with the final rule, subsequent updates to Supplementary Table 3 will be posted on the Internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office.

Consistent with the regulations, the updated data tables and supplementary tables containing the changes described are published with this notice. The updated data tables and supplementary tables containing the changes described will be effective until changed by a subsequent Federal Register notice.

Start Signature
Approved: December 20, 2005.

Gordon H. Mansfield,

Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

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End Supplemental Information

BILLING CODE 8320-01-P

[FR Doc. 06-7 Filed 1-5-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8320-01-C