On 5 June 2019, the VA finally announced the new rules of the game for three vital services under the MISSION Act of 2018:
The VA has published the final regulation for the Veterans Community Care Program governing how eligible veterans are to receive necessary hospital care, medical services, and extended care services from non-VA entities or providers in the community. The new Veterans Community Care Program replaces the Veterans Choice Program, which expires today.
In addition, the final regulation on a new urgent care benefit that provides greater choice and access to timely healthcare was announced. Veterans now have another option for the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, such as colds, sore throats and minor skin infections. This benefit is offered in addition to the new same-day services the VA now offers.
Finally, the VA re-announced it had published an interim final rule for Veterans Care Agreements (VCA) on May 14, 2019. VCAs are intended to be used when a needed care service is not otherwise practicably available through VA’s contracted network Community Care Network mentioned above. Therefore, they are intended to be used in limited situations.
For the average veteran trying to learn what applies to him or her, and how these programs will work “on the ground”, it is best to discuss them with your VA primary care provider or to go to this website currently: www.missionact.va.gov.
Source: VA announces final community care regulations under MISSION Act – VAntage Point
As of 6 June 2019