New VA rules allow more veterans to see private doctors, urgent care

Leslie Hanson
June 8, 2019

Under the new program, vets will now be able to work with their VA health care provider, or other VA staff, to see if they are eligible to receive community-based care.

"With the implementation of the Mission Act, there are some changes that have come to the VA - including how the provider enters a consult for a veteran", Dr. Maureen McCarthy said.

Under the Community Care rule issued Tuesday, veterans must be enrolled in the VA healthcare system and meet at least one of six conditions to be eligible for VA-paid care outside the VA system. They worry that the department is not fully prepared to begin its new policy, which Congress adopted past year to streamline and expand the way veterans get care.

The Phoenix VA launched a new federal program created to improve veterans' access to health care Thursday, one year after President Donald Trump signed it into law and on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Normandy landings.

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".

"This is for veterans that may live too far, that may take too long, that need care closer to their home or a service that we might not be able to provide quickly or provide at all at certain VA's", said Tomah VA Medical Center Director Victoria Brahm.

The VA's new Community Care Program includes implementing new portions of the MISSION Act of 2018, which stands for Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks.

Hampton has increased staff in its Office of Community Care and call center, two areas where it expects to see greater traffic.

In 2014, the roll-out of VA Choice caused a sharp spike in workload at the Hampton VA Medical Center, one of the fastest growing veterans hospitals in the country. "What we're actually doing is streamlining the are for community care". Packaged under the guise of giving veterans more choices, VCCP will likely lead to the dismantling and privatization of the VA healthcare system that my fellow veterans and I want and need.

Officials at the VA say they are confident things will go smoothly.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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