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VA launches new health care options under MISSION Act

MARION (WSIL) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs chose the anniversary of D-Day, June 6, to launch its new and improved Veterans Community Care Program.

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."

“The changes not only improve our ability to provide the health care Veterans need, but also when and where they need it,” said VA Medical Center Director, Jo-Ann Ginsberg. “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.”

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. Eligibility for community care does not require a veteran to receive that care in the community; veterans can still choose to have VA provide their care. Veterans may elect to receive care in the community if they meet any of six eligibility criteria:

  • A veteran needs a service not available at any VA medical facility.
  • A veteran lives in a U.S. state or territory without a full-service VA medical facility. 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.
  • A veteran qualifies under the “grandfather” provision related to distance eligibility under the Veterans Choice Program.
  • VA cannot furnish care within certain designated access standards.
  • The veteran and the referring clinician agree it is in the best medical interest of the veteran to receive community care based on defined factors.
  • VA has determined that a VA medical service line is not providing care in a manner that complies with VA’s standards for quality based on specific conditions.

For more on the services available and the eligibility requirements go to:

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