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The Department of Veterans Affairs is not pausing the MISSION Act during the COVID-19 outbreak. The department is ensuring the best medical interests of veterans are met by adhering to the law in a manner that takes into account whether referrals for community care are clinically appropriate, the VA is taking the following steps in order to ensure the safety of veterans as they access care:

- VA community care referrals for emergent or urgent clinical needs will continue as necessary.

- Veterans with care currently scheduled in the community should continue with this care as clinically appropriate and if available.

- Referral requests for non-emergent care with community providers will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for immediate clinical need and with regard to the safety of the veteran when being seen in-person, regardless of wait time or drive time eligibility.

- VA is expanding the use of c telehealth and telephone sessions to address many of veterans' routine medical needs.

“We understand the need for community providers to halt in-person, non-emergent care to veterans, and all patients for that matter, in order to lessen the curve of this virus sweeping our nation,” said B.J. Lawrence, VFW Washington Office executive director. “Many private health care providers around the country are being forced to make similar difficult decisions, but ultimately decisions that keep the overall safety of all patients in mind. Vigilance is required in slowing this coronavirus pandemic. The VA is taking the correct approach in handling this matter but it remains vital that many of our veterans are able to still receive the care they require. Telehealth and telephonic medical sessions are good adjustments to current conditions but the VA must make accommodations for veterans who are unable to access these means of care.”

For more information about the VA Missions Act, visit https://militarybenefits.info/va-mission-act/#ixzz6IBEkx5Yg.