Published: Sat, June 08, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Mission Act to expand veteran health care launches

Mission Act to expand veteran health care launches

Under the new and improved Veterans Community Care Program, veterans can now work with their VA health care provider or other VA staff to see if they are eligible to receive community care.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is launching the new MISSION Act. "We are honoring that promise by making sure veterans have access to timely, high-quality care, whether from our VA facilities or our community providers".

"President Trump promised to give veterans greater choice", VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a written statement.

To help employees prepare for this transformation and others under the VA MISSION Act, the Walla Walla VA Medical Center & Clinics (WWVAMC) dedicated the month of May to readiness and will continue to communicate information about VA MISSION Act into June to assure Veterans get their questions answered and the healthcare they deserve.

Today (June 6, 2019), the Trump administration is rolling out the Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) as part of the Mission Act passed by Congress and signed into law by the president a year ago. "In addition to new benefits like urgent and walk-in care, a Veteran's eligibility for this program can now be a health-based decision between you and your doctor", said Bergman.

Provider and veterans groups hope the program will roll out without major glitches, unlike when the VA hastily launched the Veterans Choice program in 2014.

Previously, federal law said that the VA would only pay for a veteran to receive private or specialty care, if the veteran had to drive more than 40 miles or wait longer than 30 days could choose to see a VA doctor. Coverage is also offered for specialty services when the wait is longer than 28 days or an hour drive.

Under the MISSION Act's Veterans Community Care Program, veterans can expect a variety of improvements.

MISSION is an acronym for maintaining internal systems and strengthening integrated outside networks.

Empowers Veterans with increased access to community care.

Veterans now have expanded access to medical care outside of Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.

Brahm says the staff at the Tomah VA have been training for months to make the transition as smooth as possible.

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