HVAC Passes VA Choice Improvements

The House Veterans' Affairs Committee recently passed "The VA Care in the Community Act" (H.R.4242).  Consequently streamlining the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) community care accounts into one veteran-centric program—replaces the Choice Program—and removes the current 30-day, 40-mile requirement to give veterans more timely access to community care. The bill would consolidate VA's existing community care programs into one cohesive program. It would modernize VA's medical claims processing system to ensure that community providers can expect to be paid on time for the care they provide to veterans on the VA's behalf. It would further require the VA to conduct periodic local capacity and market assessments.  These would identify how gaps in care can be addressed through improvements to both internal and external capacity, standardize rates the VA pays to community providers and authorize the VA to enter into provider agreements for needed care, when contracts are not achievable. 


The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC) earlier passed the "Caring for Our Veterans Act" (S.2193).  It is intended to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system by providing easier access for veterans to meet with private-sector doctors and expansion of the VA's care givers assistance programs. The bill also includes $3 billion in additional funding for the current VA Choice Program. FRA believes the VA's first priority must be to ensure all veterans, currently waiting for treatment, are provided timely access to care.


Veterans should ask their Representative to support H.R. 4242 and their Senators to support S. 2193.


Source: FRA Newsbytes, January 12, 2018

Yours in service,

Chuck Weber