The AHA today expressed support for the Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act (H.R. 1604), which would amend the Veteran’s Choice Act to include access to non-Department of Veterans Affairs mental health services. The bill would allow veterans to access mental health services at non-VA facilities regardless of whether the veteran has attempted to schedule an appointment at a VA facility or the location of the veteran’s residence. “America’s hospitals strive to ensure patients get the right care, at the right time, in the right setting,” AHA Senior Vice President Tom Nickels told Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) in a letter of support for the bill. “As such, they have a long-standing history of collaboration with the VA and are eager to assist the VA and our veterans, in any way possible, including by providing care through the Veteran’s Choice Program. We believe your legislation will address some of the barriers veterans may face when trying to receive mental health services. This is incredibly important in light of the devastating statistics on veterans’ mental health problems, including suicides, post-traumatic stress disorder and other service-related mental health disorders.”