The new Veterans Community Care Program replaces the Veterans Choice Program, which expired June 6, 2019 and was immediately placed into law on the same day. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the publication in the Federal Register of two final regulations as part of its new Veterans Community Care Program under the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act of 2018.
The MISSION Act strengthens the VA’s ability to deliver trusted, easy to access, high-quality care at VA facilities, virtually through telehealth, and in Veterans’ communities. The law makes several improvements to VA care.
A key component of the MISSION Act is a new urgent care benefit that provides eligible Veterans with greater choice and access to timely, high-quality care. With urgent care, Veterans have a new option for care for the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, such as colds, sore throats and minor skin infections. The benefit is offered in addition to the opportunity to receive care from a VA provider, as the VA also offers same-day services.
The VA also published the final regulation for the Veterans Community Care Program governing how eligible Veterans receive necessary hospital care, medical services, and extended care services from non-VA entities or providers in the community.
The VA previously published an interim final rule for Veterans Care Agreements (VCA) on May 14, 2019. The VA may use VCAs to order care when not otherwise feasibly available through the VA’s contracted network. VCAs are intended to be used in limited situations. The VA will purchase most community care for Veterans through its contracted network as part of its strong partnerships with third-party administrators. Currently, these administrators are TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Optum Public Sector Solutions.
The VA is implementing improvements to its community care program as required by the VA MISSION Act. Veterans can find detailed information on urgent care eligibility, community care eligibility and MISSION Act implementation at www.missionact.va.gov.
This is good news for our Veterans seeking healthcare. However, if you are a disabled Veteran and having trouble receiving your benefits, know that Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, is always on your side. If you’d like to know more about what our firm can do for you, call us today at 877-526-3457 for a free consultation. If you’d rather talk at a later time, fill out this form so our team can contact you at your convenience.