President Obama Issues Executive Order on Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Veterans, Service Members and Families on August 31, 2012.
Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (H.R. 3230; P. Law 113-146) was signed into law August 7, 2014. The law allows veterans to seek medical care from private healthcare providers through the use of a “Veterans Choice Card”. Veterans who were eligible for services as of August 1, 2014 or engaged in active service in a war zone on that date are eligible to receive outside care if they have been on a waiting list for 30 days or more; live more than 40 miles from a VA facility; would have to travel more than 20 miles by air, boat, or ferry to reach a facility; or reside in a state without a VA facility that provides hospital care, emergency services, or surgical services. Providers must be Medicare or DOD-participating and are reimbursed at Medicare rates, except in “highly rural” areas when they may be paid more.
Sponsor: Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY)
Fact Sheet on Strengthening Behavioral Health Services for Veterans (PDF, 269 KB)