On August 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146) (“VACAA”). The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) goal continues to be to provide timely, high-quality health care for Veterans.
In order to improve VA’s ability to deliver high-quality health care to Veterans, section 101 of VACAA requires VA to implement the Veterans Choice Program to expand the options for eligible Veterans to elect to use non-VA health care for a period of up to three years or until the funds for the Program are expended. Veterans who meet certain eligibility requirements are able to elect to receive care from eligible non-VA entities and providers through the Program. Prior to VACAA being passed, VA had mechanisms in place to purchase non-VA care, which are still available to VA. VACAA will enhance VA’s non-VA care options.
NVPCA is proud to announce that most Nevada Federally Qualified Health Centershave signed contracts in place with the VA third party administrators. The FQHCs are located throughout the state and provide services such as: comprehensive primary care, behavioral and dental care services to communities throughout the silver state. In many rural areas an FQHC may be closer and more accessible to Veterans then a VA health facility. To locate a FQHC near you click here.
Veterans Choice Program FAQs
1. Who is eligible for the Veterans Choice Program?
Veterans who are already enrolled in VA health care may be able to receive care within their Community instead of waiting for a VA appointment or travelling to a VA facility.
- have been (or will be) waiting more than 30 days for VA medical care or
- live more than 40 miles away from a VA medical care facility or face one of several travel burdens*
*Excessive Travel Burden: The Veteran faces an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to a VA medical facility based on geographic challenges, environmental factors, or a medical condition. Staff at the Veteran's local VA medical facility will work with him/her to determine if he/she is eligible for any of these reasons. Veterans may call 1-866- 606-8198 to learn more.
2. What kind of training is available for VCP providers who may have limited experience with Veteran?
The VA and the Department of Defense have developed a free online continuing education course, Military Culture: Core Competencies for Health Care Professionals. The course is aimed at helping providers to better serve Veterans and Service members by increasing their knowledge and awareness of military culture and experiences.
The eight-hour online course covers a variety of topics through interactive features, video vignettes, case examples and treatment planning scenarios. The modules include topics such as military organization and roles, stressors and resources, and treatment resources and tools. Each of the modules within the course were developed using research, surveys and extensive interviews with Service members and Veterans.
3. Does utilization of VCP benefits interfere with Veterans existing health care or VA benefits?
Using this program does NOT impact the Veteran's existing VA health care, or any other VA benefit.
4.What does a Veteran need to know before utilizing his or her VCP benefits?
There are several steps that need to be followed on behalf of the Veteran before they can begin using their choice benefits. Veterans who may be eligible for this program should have received a choice card in the mail. There is a number on the back of the card they can call to get the process started. It is advised that the Veteran have the information for the provider he wishes to see. To find out where VCP providers are located use the Veteran Choice Locator tool on the VA website: www.VA.gov/OPA/apps/locator or call 1-866-606-8198.
5. How can Veterans learn more about the program?
Veterans can get more information about the choice program by going to www.va.gov/OPA/choiceact or call 1-866-606-8198 to learn more.
6. How can providers learn more about getting involved?
Providers interested in participating must establish a contract with one of the contractors, Health Net Federal, or TriWest Healthcare Alliance.
- Accept Medicare rates.
- Meet all Medicare Conditions of Participation and Conditions for Coverage.
- Be in compliance with all applicable federal and state regulatory requirements.
- Have a full, current, and unrestricted license in the state where the service(s) are delivered.
- Have same or similar credentials as VA staff.
- Submit a copy of the medical records to the contractor for medical care and services provided to Veterans for inclusion in the VA electronic record.