Since enacted in August of 2014, the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act ("Choice Act") has expanded options for how veterans enrolled for healthcare with the VA can choose to access healthcare in their communities. The Choice Act opened the door for health centers to serve more veterans in their communities and strengthen partnerships with both local VA facilities and veteran non-profit organizations in the community. Since becoming law, the Choice Act has been refined and updated to simplify processes and better meet the needs of veterans.
The extension of the Choice Act beyond August 7, 2017, provides time for congressional and VA leadership to work on further needed changes to this act. Of interest to health centers is the notion of an expanded and improved community provider program. Earlier efforts in this area have named health centers as "core" community providers in any expanded community care partnership arrangements. This session will provide an update on the Choice program and other VHA programs directed at providing veterans care within their communities; detail resources and strategies aimed at increasing veteran community care; and highlight health centers that are connecting, engaging, and serving veterans within their communities.
- Gain an understanding of the Choice and other VHA programs and updates that impact how health centers become recognized providers for veterans by the VHA.
- Understand how health centers can collaborate with the local VA and VSOs.
- Identify resources available to develop and implement a Veteran Engagement Plan.