Bergman to fellow veterans: VA community care is here

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"The changes not only improve our ability to provide the health care Veterans need, but also when and where they need it", said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched its new and improved community care program June 6, implementing portions of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (the MISSION Act), which both ends the Veterans Choice Program and establishes a new Veterans Community Care Program.

Other guidelines are more straight-forward.

Congressman Jack Bergman, Ranking Member on the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, issued a release Wednesday about a new VA act. And we need to fill VHA's 43,000 vacancies-doctors, nurses, mental health clinicians, and other front-line support staff - in order to ensure that there is the necessary number of dedicated personnel wanting to make a career out of serving our nation's veterans. Specifically, this would apply to veterans living in Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire and the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The new law doesn't require veterans to do anything differently if they want to keep seeing their current doctor or receiving the care they do now.

A veteran qualifies under the "grandfather" provision related to distance eligibility under the Veterans Choice Program.

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Another recent post stated that "veterans should expect a fairly transparent and seamless transition" to the new program.

"We are honored to reaffirm our commitment to America's Veterans", said WWVAMC Medical Center Director Christopher R. Bjornberg.

From October 2014 to March 2017, Hampton officials reported a 48 percent increase in veterans seeking care outside the VA.

To learn more about the program, go to www.missionact.va.gov.

A Veteran needs a service not available at any VA medical facility. That address is for general questions, not confidential queries about a specific case. Lebanon VA Medical Center has an emergency room open 24/7 and all primary care and mental health clinics offer same day service either at the Lebanon VAMC or the five community clinic locations.

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