Chillicothe VA launches new care options

Grant Boone
June 8, 2019

"Today, Paralyzed Veterans of America marks a new beginning for veterans' health care with VA's launch of the Veterans Community Care Program as required by the VA MISSION Act".

The program implements portions of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (MISSION Act), which both ends the Veterans Choice Program and establishes a new Veterans Community Care Program.

According to a statement released by the Marion VA Health Care System, the MISSION Act will "strengthen the Marion VA Health Care System by empowering Veterans with more health care options".

Congressman Jack Bergman, Ranking Member on the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, issued a release Wednesday about a new VA act.

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

Among other criteria, veterans are eligible for outside care if the Veterans Health Administration does not offer care or services needed by the veteran; if it's not able to provide services to the veteran in a way that meets the VA's quality or timeliness standards; or if the veteran and referring clinician agree that receiving care outside the VA would be in the veteran's best medical interest.

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Butler VA Director John Lasell says help is available to determine if vets are eligible to participate in the program.

Under the rules, veterans will also be permitted to go to non-VA urgent care facilities at VA expense without approval.

Under the MISSION Act's Veterans Community Care Program, veterans can expect a variety of improvements. 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. The new community care program is a positive step toward that goal. The specific access standards are described below.

Note: Average drive times are calculated by VA using geo-mapping software.

Paralyzed Veterans of America has always been a champion of, and one of the most influential voices for, VA reform.

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