Rural Veterans Can Have Access to Private Doctors Rather Than
Driving to the VA
For the last three years, the VA has sponsored a project called Access Received Closer to Home (ARCH). As part of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 this program was extended another two years. The original program was for Veterans in five different areas: northern Maine, Farmville, VA, Pratt, KS, Flagstaff, AZ, and Billings, MT. Veterans in these areas already have access to healthcare through private doctors that are closer to home,. Such care is paid for by the VA.
The new program that effects all rural veterans and veterans that have been waiting excessively goes inot effect November 5, 2014. The program is supposed to pay for private doctor care for veterans that have live more than 40 miles from the VA. At this point, it does not look like the VA will make the deadline of implimenting the new program and veterans should be careful in scheduling appointments with private doctors until they have their CHOICE CARD. VA rules require pre-authorization of outside healthcare, so any care received prior to the CHOICE CARD issuance might not be paid for.