As the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s signing of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act of 2018 approaches on June 6, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is making significant strides in implementing major improvements to community care for Veterans.
“The Veteran is at the center of everything we do,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said. “Through the MISSION Act, Veterans will have more choices than ever in getting timely, high-quality care. Most important, Veterans will be able to decide what is important and best for them.”
The MISSION Act will strengthen VA’s health care system by improving both aspects of care delivery and empowering Veterans to find the balance in the system that is right for them,
A key aspect of the MISSION Act is the consolidation of VA’s community care programs, which will make community care work better for Veterans and their families, providers and VA employees. When this transition is complete, the following will occur:
- Veterans will have more options for community care.
- Eligibility criteria for community care will be expanded, including new access standards.
- Scheduling appointments will be easier, and care coordination between VA and community providers will be better.
- Eligible Veterans will have access to a network of walk-in and urgent care facilities for minor injuries and illnesses.
“Transitioning to the new eligibility criteria for community care should be seamless for Veterans,” Wilkie said. “Veterans will continue to talk to their care team or scheduler as they have been doing to get the care they need.”
VA also has been working closely with community providers to ensure Veterans have a positive experience when receiving community care. For example, VA has developed education and training materials to help community providers understand some of the unique challenges Veterans can face.
Going forward, community care will be easier to use, and Veterans will remain at the center of their VA health care decisions.
In addition to information VA has made available digitally, Veterans enrolled in VA health care can expect to receive a letter in the mail providing details on where to go for more information.
For more information about community care under the MISSION Act, visit https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/58621/new-eligibility-criteria-a-major-improvement-over-existing-rules/.