VA MISSION Act
On June 6, 2018, President Trump signed the John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (the MISSION Act). Certain provisions of the Act were further amended by the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2018.
This Act will fundamentally transform elements of VA’s health care system, fulfilling the President’s commitment to help Veterans live a healthy and fulfilling life.
A transformed VA health care system will:
- Ensure easy and reliable access to care when Veterans need it.
- Provide exceptional care to Veterans anytime, anywhere.
- Serve as a trusted, caring partner, helping Veterans and their families be healthy and well.
Veterans deserve access to the best health care providers, state-of-art facilities and cutting-edge technology. The VA MISSION Act of 2018 will strengthen VA’s ability to deliver the quality care and timely service Veterans have earned.
Consolidating Community Care
VA has been providing care to Veterans through community providers for decades, but the programs have grown in number and complexity over the years, making them complicated to access and administer. The MISSION Act will consolidate VA s community care programs, making community care work better for Veterans and their families, community providers, and VA staff.
Strengthening VA’s Workforce
The MISSION Act gives VA greater ability to recruit and retain the best medical providers through greater access to an education debt reduction program and improved flexibility for bonuses for recruitment, relocation and retention. VA will also pilot a scholarship program for eligible Veterans to receive medical training in return for serving in a VA hospital or clinic for four years.
Strengthening VA’s Infrastructure
On average, VA buildings are nearly 60 years old, with only half built since 1920. The MISSION Act will strengthen the Department’s ability to manage its real property portfolio and build a high-performing, integrated health care system.
Expanding Caregivers Eligibility
The MISSION Act will expand eligibility for VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) under the Caregiver Support Program. The PCAFC is currently available to eligible Veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001. The expansion implemented by the MISSION Act will open the Program to eligible Veterans and their caregivers from all eras.
Over the course of the next year, VA will focus on establishing systems, writing regulations, training staff, and developing an implementation timeline to expand eligibility for PCAFC to include eligible Veterans from all eras of service.
VA will proactively communicate throughout the implementation and deployment process to ensure information is easily accessible, simple to understand, and meets the needs of Veterans and their loved ones.
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