VA prepares for major shift in veterans' health care

Henrietta Brewer
June 8, 2019

It also issued a final rule granting veterans coverage for urgent care outside VA facilities, without prior VA approval but with a copayment.

Veterans will have expanded access to medical care outside Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities beginning Thursday.

Other guidelines are more straight-forward.

The eligibility guidelines "will be a major improvement over existing criteria in terms of making things simpler", the VA stated on its official blog, promising patients "better access and greater choice in their health care, whether at VA or through a community provider". Specifically, this would apply to veterans living in Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire and the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 3.


USA Today reports that the new rules could increase the number of veterans eligible for private care from 560,000 to 2.1 million. "Our staff is steadfast in providing health care that meets the needs of our veterans at the right time and place".

The new law doesn't require veterans to do anything differently if they want to keep seeing their current doctor or receiving the care they do now.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is launching the new MISSION Act. Veterans served by Lebanon VAMC may call the MISSION Act Call Center at 717-272-6621 and press 6 or visit the MISSION Act information table located in the Building 17 Lobby during normal business hours through the end of June.

The new program consolidates all the previous efforts, including Veterans Choice, into a single program.


"We are honored to reaffirm our commitment to America's Veterans", said Butler VA's Director Jon Lasell. The staff required to coordinate that ballooned from 23 people to 51.

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

Veterans will have expanded access to medical care outside of the VA as part of a law signed by President Trump a year ago. For more than 70 years, the organization has ensured that veterans receive the benefits earned through service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.


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