Published: Sat, June 08, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

WWVAMC prepared for launch of VA MISSION Act

WWVAMC prepared for launch of VA MISSION Act

The Veterans Affairs Department finalized a rule spelling out which veterans are eligible for the new, expanded Community Care program mandated by Congress a year ago.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is launching the new MISSION Act. And we need to fill VHA's 43,000 vacancies-doctors, nurses, mental health clinicians, and other front-line support staff - in order to ensure that there is the necessary number of dedicated personnel wanting to make a career out of serving our nation's veterans. "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". This is day one of a reformed VA system that will give Veterans more control and ownership of their healthcare choices.

Starting Thursday, U.S. veterans will be granted expanded access to medical care outside Department of Veterans Affairs as part of a law signed previous year by President Donald Trump.

The final rule, published Wednesday, establishes the Veterans Community Care Program under the VA MISSION Act of 2018 (MISSION Act). As with any change, we know there will be challenges, but we believe this opportunity will lead to a better partnership between the VA and community health care providers.

The MISSION Act will strengthen the nationwide VA Health Care System by empowering veterans to have more options in their health care decisions. Coverage is also offered for specialty services when the wait is longer than 28 days or an hour drive.

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The Veterans Community Care Program is created to serve as a supplement to the health care the VA provides to veterans in-house.

"The Choice Act has ended but the choice is not going away". Despite increasing eligibility for community care, the VA states they do not expect the program to deplete their budget.

Lebanon VAMC is one of 170 medical centers in the nation with the sole objective of providing world-class medical care to America's Veterans. That would encourage more providers to participate in the VA's community care networks.

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

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

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