The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced a new piece of legislation that will provide U.S. veterans with streamline healthcare services. Known as the Mission Act, it was passed by Congress in May 2019 and expected to take effect in June.
While the exact number is unknown, statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau suggests there are more than 18 million veterans living in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these veterans struggle to receive proper healthcare. There are over 170 VA Medical Centers, but many veterans are forced to drive long distances to reach them. And even then, veterans often encounter long wait times to see a doctor and receive medical treatment.
What Is the Mission Act?
The Mission Act provides veterans with more options when choosing a healthcare provider. Previously, veterans were required to use a dedicated VA healthcare facility. The Mission Act, however, allows veterans to receive healthcare from an urgent care facility that’s part of the VA’s network of authorized third-party medical service providers. Whether a veteran is suffering from the common cold or a severe case of foodborne illness, he or she can visit one of these third-party medical centers to receive immediate treatment.
With the Mission Act, veterans are no longer forced to use a VA center to receive medical treatment. They can now opt for a third-party medical service provider that’s part of the VA’s network. The VA has already added hundreds of third-party medical service providers to its supported network — a number that will likely increase as the legislation is rolled out and adopted.
By expanding its network of clinics to third-party medical service providers, the VA will be able to provide faster, more timely treatment for our nation’s 18 million veterans. With many VA centers suffering from long wait times, veterans can choose to book an appointment at a third-party medical center under this new legislation.
As noted by the VA, veterans still have the option to book an appointment at a standard VA center. “With urgent care, Veterans have a new option for care for the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, such as colds, sore throats, and minor skin infections. The benefit is offered in addition to the opportunity to receive care from a VA provider, as VA also offers same-day services,” wrote the VA when announcing the Mission
You can learn more about The Mission Act by visiting the VA’s official website at https://missionact.va.gov/.