SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) -Veterans are now having more access to healthcare not only with Veterans Affairs — but now throughout the community.
On June 6, the VA implemented the MISSION Act which allows eligible veterans access to non-emergency care with community providers in the VA network.
Eligible veterans can go to any urgent care or walk-in care provider in the VA’s network.
“We are limited in the number of services that we are able to provide,” said Dr. Robby Wise, Associate Chief of Staff at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center. “We can’t cover everything at all times, and sometimes the most efficient way to do things is to ask other providers out in the community to do it.”
This urgent care benefit is meant to give veterans a convenient way to get treatment for minor injuries and illnesses.
Dr. Wise says so far they’ve seen a 20 percent increase in consultants and says many providers as well as veterans like the new service. He says there are some bumps along the way that they are working to fix, but so far things are going well.
Eligible veterans must be enrolled in the VA health care system and have received care through the VA from either a VA or community provider within the last 24 months.
The hospital system urges veterans to make sure they are eligible and not to assume they are or that urgent care clinics in your community are in the VA’s network.
Dr. Wise says the first couple of visits to urgent care clinics in the VA’s network will be covered but around the third or fourth visit a veteran might have to pay a co-pay afterwards.