Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System to host Town Halls about new VA MISSION Act
May 31, 2019
May 30, 2019: Muskogee, OK — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will launch its new and improved community care program June 6, 2019, implementing portions of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (MISSION Act), which ends the Veterans Choice Program and establishes a new Veterans Community Care Program.
In an effort to increase awareness about the MISSION Act, the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System (EOVAHCS) is hosting two Town Halls:
- June 4 – Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center, 1011 Honor Heights Dr., 4 – 6 pm.
- June 5 – VFW , Post 577, 1109 E. 6th St., 11:30 am – 1:30 pm.
Refreshments provided at both events.
“June 6th will be a historic day for VA, and will strengthen and improve our ability to deliver world class health care to our Veterans,” said Mark Morgan, EOVAHCS Director. “We stand ready to assure our Veterans that we are the best choice for their health care.”
The MISSION Act will empower Veterans to have more options in their health care decisions. Under the new and improved Veterans Community Care Program, Veterans can now work with their VA health care provider or other VA staff to see if they are eligible to receive community care.
Eligibility for community care does not require a Veteran to receive that care in the community; Veterans can still choose to have VA provide their care. Veterans are eligible to choose to receive care in the community if they meet any of the following six eligibility criteria:
Average drive time to a specific VA medical facility
- A Veteran needs a service not available at any VA medical facility.
- A Veteran lives in a U.S. state or territory without a full-service VA medical facility. 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.
- A Veteran qualifies under the “grandfather” provision related to distance eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program.
- VA cannot furnish care in a manner that complies within certain designated access standards. The specific access standards are described below. (Important: Access standards are proposed and not yet final.)
- 30-minute average drive time for primary care, mental health and non-institutional extended care services.
- 60-minute average drive time for specialty care.
Note: Average drive times are calculated by VA using geo-mapping software.
Appointment wait time at a specific VA medical facility
- 20 days for primary care, mental health care and noninstitutional extended care services, unless the Veteran agrees to a later date in consultation with his or her VA health care provider.
- 28 days for specialty care from the date of request, unless the Veteran agrees to a later date in consultation with his or her VA health care provider.
- The Veteran and the referring clinician agree it is in the best medical interest of the Veteran to receive community care based on defined factors.
- VA has determined that a VA medical service line is not providing care in a manner that complies with VA’s standards for quality.
EOVAHCS serves approximately 40,000 local Veterans every year.
For more information: