The Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday will begin allowing a broad swath of its 9 million enrollees to seek medical care outside of traditional VA hospitals, the biggest shift in the US health care system since the passage of the Affordable Care Act almost a decade ago.
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 eligibility guidelines "will be a major improvement over existing criteria in terms of making things simpler", the VA stated on its official blog, promising patients "better access and greater choice in their health care, whether at VA or through a community provider".More news: End of May, Britain’s PM Steps Down as Conservative Leader
Veterans will have expanded access to medical care outside of the VA as part of a law signed by President Trump previous year.
Butler VA Director John Lasell says help is available to determine if vets are eligible to participate in the program.
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. "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 MISSION Act's Veterans Community Care Program, veterans can expect a variety of improvements. The new community care program is a positive step toward that goal. The law's requirement that the VHA adopt an electronic claims system should make a big difference in timely payment of claims, she said.More news: John Cena Joins Fast & Furious 9 Cast
"They've been working hard on getting all those contracts awarded, but we'll have to see on the rollout", Bash said.
"We would have preferred the VA not use wait time in the Community Care eligibility criteria", he said. "That's setting an expectation they won't be able to meet, and veterans won't be happy".
Paralyzed Veterans of America has always been a champion of, and one of the most influential voices for, VA reform.More news: Saudi Arabia's Falih says OPEC close to agreement on extending oil deal