VA Rule Changes Driving Distance Method

(Effective: Immediately, but comments accepted through May 26)

The Veterans Affairs Dept. offers an interim final rule to guide the driving distance eligibility component of the new $10 billion Veterans Choice Program, which furnishes non-VA hospital care and medical services to certain veterans.

The care and services are provided through non-VA health care providers to veterans who either cannot be seen within the wait-time goals of the Veterans Health Administration or who qualify based on their place of residence.

Under current law, VA uses a straight-line or geodesic distance to determine eligibility based on place of residence. The interim final rule modifies how VA measures the distance from a veteran’s residence to the nearest VA medical facility. This modified standard will consider the distance the veteran must drive to the nearest VA medical facility, rather than the straight-line or geodesic distance to such a facility.

The Veterans Choice Program was created by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (PL 113-14), which requires the program to be funded by $10 billion in appropriated resources from the newly established Veterans Choice Fund. The program is authorized to continue until the date the Veterans Choice Fund is exhausted or until Aug. 7, 2017.

Contact: Kristin Cunningham, 202/382-2508

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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