The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has taken a step forward to provide healthcare across America. It has finalized the federal rule that allows providers to deliver patient care across different states and outside of a VA facility using the technology of telemedicine.
The Congress passed many bills to support this measure, after its first announcement, supporting a nationwide telehealth program. But, this final rule gives authority to VA to override the state rules that restricted providers from treating patients outside that particular agency or region.
Steps towards telemedicine expansion began through the Anywhere-to-Anywhere initiative by President Donald Trump and Former VA Secretary David Shulkin. This initiative was about issuing a regulation that lets VA providers to extend telehealth services from any part of the country to veterans anywhere in the country, may it be their home or any other location.
Officials are looking forward to this rule to combat wait times and give superior care to patients. This rule will extend facilities to veterans in rural areas who find it difficult to travel long distance or across state lines to visit a doctor. It gives faster access to critical care like mental health.
The rule will come to effect on June 11.