Veterans Choice Act: Tackling Veteran Outreach and Care in Region X
The Veterans Choice Program (VCP) was created in 2014 through the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (VACAA) after it was discovered that tens of thousands of veterans across the country were waiting excessive times to receive care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The VCP allows eligible veterans to receive healthcare from non-VHA community providers, including community health centers (CHCs). This represents a fundamental shift in how veterans can get access to the care they need, and provides the opportunity for CHCs to open their doors to another critically underserved population.
In order to see veterans through VCP, CHCs must meet a set of criteria, such as current participation in the Medicare program and various state licensure requirements. Once approved, CHCs can be reimbursed for covered services at the established prospective payment system rates for Medicare services. With improved access to care under VCP, more veterans may be encouraged to enroll in the program. Becoming an early participant in the VCP, particularly for health centers that are located in a substantially rural area or in areas that have a concentrated veteran population, may yield such benefits as additional revenue and local market establishment as a VCP participant.
Recently, at the Spring Primary Care Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, NWRPCA convened Region 10 CHCs to familiarize providers with the application process, what they need to know about meeting veterans’ healthcare needs, and discuss challenges and success with the VCP. The findings from this convening are currently being evaluated to develop a broader strategic initiative around veteran’s outreach and care, including a potential learning community where participants can learn about best practices for success in the VCP. Please join us in late June for a webinar highlighting VCP updates and best practices for veteran’s outreach. An announcement, including learning objectives, speakers and connection details will be announced early next month. Stay tuned!
To learn more about VCP, or if you have questions, please contact Jessica Burkard, Project Manager, Community Health Improvement Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.519.5045.
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U58CS06846, "S/RPCAs," total award $950K, with 65 percent of program funded by nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.