The House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs yesterday held a joint hearing on progress to implement the VA MISSION Act of 2018, AHA-supported legislation that will consolidate the Department of Veterans Affairs' community care programs into a single permanent program. Testifying on the new program, which must start by June 6 under the law, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said timely payment to community providers was a priority. “To this end, VA is moving away from paper claims and requiring providers to submit electronic claims in most cases through a new claims processing system,” he said. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., ranking member of the Senate committee, and Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., urged the secretary to brief the panel on the proposed access standards for the program. Wilkie said he would do so after he briefed the president and had his decision. “My objective is to ensure veterans receive care where and when they need it and to ensure VA remains on the leading edge for access and quality of health care,” he said.

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