The Department of Veterans Affairs today issued a final rule for the Veterans Choice Program, which continues to use driving distance to determine the distance between a veteran’s residence and the nearest VA medical facility. The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 requires the VA to enter into agreements with eligible non-VA entities or providers to furnish hospital care and medical services to eligible veterans who elect to receive care under the program. Eligibility criteria include living more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility. In written comments, AHA has recommended using driving rather than straight-line distance and offered other suggestions for improving the program. In the final rule, VA said it plans to publish a separate rulemaking announcing the criteria it will use to determine veteran eligibility based on the Construction Authorization and Choice Improvement Act of 2015, which allows the secretary to determine criteria for an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to a VA medical facility.