Have you submitted a comment about the VA MISSION Act’s new access standards yet?
If not, you have only five days left to let Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs know how you feel about new standards for accessing health care that would affect you and your family.
Need a refresher on what this means? We’ve got you covered:
When the VA MISSION Act was signed into law last year, it required the VA to develop new criteria guiding when veterans would be able to seek care from non-VA providers. The proposed standards cut down the time a veteran has to wait for or drive to an appointment before they have access to community medical care.
Under the old rules, vets could visit a non-VA doctor if they couldn’t get an appointment at the VA within 30 days or if they had to drive more than 40 miles to get to the closest VA facility. The 30-day/40-mile rule was arbitrary and mismanaged, so it really didn’t work well for vets.
Under the proposed updated access standards, the wait time is cut down to 20 days for primary and mental health care and 28 days for specialty care. The mileage rule would also be done away with in favor of drive-time to the nearest VA facility that offers the care the veteran specifically needs.
The bottom line of these proposed changes is more access to quality and timely care for veterans.
Part of the process for introducing the new standards includes gathering comments from the public about how the changes would affect them.
That’s where you come in.
If you’re a veteran, caregiver or military family member, the new access standards could have a huge impact on you. The chance to see a non-VA doctor could mean less time spent on a wait list for an appointment, in a waiting room at the VA hospital or in the car driving to a facility.
You need to let the VA know that new access standards will give vets access to the care they need and deserve.
Your personal story can make all the difference, as the VA decides how to move forward with new access standards under the VA MISSION Act. The comment period closes in just five days, so don’t waste another minute!