"The implementation of the bipartisan VA MISSION Act's community care program will take place on June 6, 2019".
The specific access standards are described below (important: access standards are proposed and not yet final): (a) Average drive time to a specific VA medical facility (30-minute average drive time for primary care, mental health and noninstitutional extended care services, or 60-minute average drive time for specialty care).
Through the new Community Care Program, VA officials say the biggest changes will come with who is eligible for the program, and how fast veterans are able to receive care if they are in need of a service the VA does not provide. Even if they are eligible, they can still choose to have the VA provide their care.
A new urgent care benefit is also created, whereby veterans can visit non-VA urgent care clinics at VA expense without prior approval.
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. Veterans can see a private doctor if the VA doesn't offer the type of care they need.
Hampton has increased staff in its Office of Community Care and call center, two areas where it expects to see greater traffic.
Non-VA providers hope the program will improve their ability to share patient data with VA facilities and receive timely payment for serving veterans. That would encourage more providers to participate in the VA's community care networks.
TriWest will continue as interim administrator for the Choice program while the new contractors, including Optum Public Sector Solutions, ramp up their networks and processes over the coming year.
Note: Drive times are calculated using geomapping software.
Brahm says the staff at the Tomah VA have been training for months to make the transition as smooth as possible. "We'll be working with the VA to address issues that arise, so that veterans aren't negatively impacted".