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Office of Rural Health


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Become a Community Care Provider Partner

In an effort to increase Veterans’ access to care, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides Community Care that enables authorized Veterans to seek medical care outside of a VA facility with approved providers. Additionally, a significant number of Veterans use both VA and community health care providers. In fact, 80.4 percent of enrolled rural Veterans (fiscal year 2014) have other health insurance (e.g. Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, private Insurance) in addition to their VA benefits. Delivering comprehensive, quality health care for these Veterans is often dependent upon the integration between community and VA health care systems.

To increase Veteran’s access to care through a stronger integrated care model, VA is expanding its Community Care program. The use of Community Care is governed by federal laws containing eligibility criteria and other policies specifying when and why it can be used. In most cases, a preapproval for treatment is required for Community Care.

Veterans Choice Program is a key initiative in Community Care, and stems from the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146) (VACAA). This program offers eligible rural Veterans broader access to the health care services they have earned through their service. For community providers, it offers the opportunity to treat a Veteran patient population in coordination with the Veterans Health Administration.

As VA’s lead advocate for rural health, the Office of Rural Health strongly urges rural community providers to help reduce barriers to care and improve the health of Veterans in local communities. Visit the Veterans Choice Program site for more information and to sign up as a Veterans Choice provider in your community.