38 CFR § 17.81 - Contracts for residential treatment services for veterans with alcohol or drug dependence or abuse disabilities.
(a) Contracts for treatment services authorized under § 17.80(a) may be awarded in accordance with applicable Department of Veterans Affairs and Federal procurement procedures. Such contracts will be awarded only after the quality and effectiveness, including adequate protection for the safety of the residents of the contractor's program, has been determined and then only to contractors, determined by the Under Secretary for Health or designee to meet the following requirements.
(1) Meet fire safety requirements as follows:
(i) The building must meet the requirements in the applicable provisions of NFPA 101 (incorporated by reference, see § 17.1) and the other publications referenced in those provisions. Any equivalencies or variances to VA requirements must be approved by the appropriate Veterans Health Administration Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) Director.
(iii) All Department of Veterans Affairs sponsored residents will be mentally and physically capable of leaving the building, unaided, in the event of an emergency. Halfway house, therapeutic community and other residential program management must agree that all the other residents in any building housing veterans will also have such capability.
(iv) There must be at least one staff member on duty 24 hours a day.
(v) The facility must meet the following additional requirements, if the provisions for One and Two-Family Dwellings, as defined in NFPA 101, are applicable to the facility:
(A) Portable fire extinguishers shall be installed, inspected, and maintained in accordance with NFPA 10 (incorporated by reference, see § 17.1).
(B) The facility shall meet the requirements in section 33.7 of NFPA 101.
(vi) An annual fire and safety inspection shall be conducted at the halfway house or residential facility by qualified Department of Veterans Affairs personnel. If a review of past Department of Veterans Affairs inspections or inspections made by the local authorities indicates that a fire and safety inspection would not be necessary, then the visit to the facility may be waived.
(3) Be licensed under State or local authority.
(4) Where applicable, be accredited by the State.
(5) Comply with the requirements of the “Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records” (42 CFR part II) and the “Confidentiality of Certain Medical Records” (38 U.S.C. 7332), which shall be part of the contract.
(6) Demonstrate an existing capability to furnish the following:
(i) A supervised alcohol and drug free environment, including active affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) programs.
(ii) Staff sufficient in numbers and position qualifications to carry out the policies, responsibilities, and programs of the facility.
(iii) Board and room.
(iv) Laundry facilities for residents to do their own laundry.
(v) Structured activities.
(vi) Appropriate group activities, including physical activities.
(vii) Health and personal hygiene maintenance.
(viii) Monitoring administration of medications.
(ix) Supportive social service.
(x) Individual counseling as appropriate.
(xi) Opportunities for learning/development of skills and habits which will enable Department of Veterans Affairs sponsored residents to adjust to and maintain freedom from dependence on or involvement with alcohol or drug abuse or dependence during or subsequent to leaving the facility.
(xii) Support for the individual desire for sobriety (alcohol/drug abuse-free life style).
(xiii) Opportunities for learning, testing, and internalizing knowledge of illness/recovery process, and for upgrading skills and improving personal relationships.
(7) Data normally maintained and included in a medical record as a function of compliance with State or community licensing standards will be accessible.
(b) Representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs will inspect the facility prior to award of a contract to assure that prescribed requirements can be met. Inspections may also be carried out at such other times as deemed necessary by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
(c) All requirements in this rule, and Department of Veterans Affairs reports of inspection of residential facilities furnishing treatment and rehabilitation services to eligible veterans shall to the extent possible, be made available to all government agencies charged with the responsibility of licensing or otherwise regulating or inspecting such institutions.
(d) An individual case record will be created for each client which shall be maintained in security and confidence as required by the “Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records” (42 CFR part 2) and the “Confidentiality of Certain Medical Records” (38 U.S.C. 7332), and will be made available on a need to know basis to appropriate Department of Veterans Affairs staff members involved with the treatment program of the veterans concerned.
(e) Contractors under this section shall provide reports of budget and case load experience upon request from a Department of Veterans Affairs official.