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.
Under the new program, veterans may see non-VA doctors if they must wait longer than 20 days or drive more than 30 minutes for primary or mental health care at a VA facility.
Local veterans say that this law is good news for the veteran community.
Veterans can work with their VA health care provider or other VA staff to see if they are eligible for community care based on the new criteria.
Twenty days for primary care, mental health care and noninstitutional extended care services, unless the veteran agrees to a later date in consultation with his or her VA health care provider.
"We are honored to reaffirm our commitment to America's veterans", said VA Medical Center Director Kathy Berger, Chillicothe VA Medical Center. "It will also put Veterans at the center of their care and offer options, including expanded telehealth and urgent care, so they can find the balance in the system that is right for them".
Veterans with questions can contact the Hampton VA Medical Center at 757-722-9961, ext. That would encourage more providers to participate in the VA's community care networks.
Still, she expressed caution about whether the VHA is ready to launch the Community Care program without hitches, noting that the agency is still working through the contracting process for fiscal intermediaries in several regions around the country. We believe all veterans deserve the benefits they have earned through their service and sacrifice. But it said other public health insurance programs such as Tricare and state Medicaid plans use similar standards, and it was reasonable to follow those criteria.
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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