Suicidal veterans can now receive free emergency care at medical facilities.
Starting Tuesday, veterans will have free access to up to 30 days of inpatient or crisis housing treatment and up to 90 days of outpatient care, the VA said. Press release last week.
The VA says the program will ease the burden of high medical costs for veterans and provide access to acute suicide treatment for up to 9 million veterans who are not registered with federal departments.
“Expanding care will save lives,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Dennis McDonagh said in a statement.
“Suicidal veterans can now get the world-class emergency care they need, free of charge, wherever they need it, when they need it, whether or not they are enrolled in VA Care. ‘, said McDonough.
Any veteran who has not been dishonorably discharged after at least 24 months of service is eligible for the program, regardless of veteran’s enrollment status.
Also eligible are those who have served more than 100 days of combat duty or who have been victims of physical or sexual assault in the military.
Suicide prevention is considered a top priority for the VA. Although the number of suicides among veterans has started to decline over the past two years, the suicide rate among U.S. veterans is much higher than the rest of the adult population.
of Latest VA Report Released in September.
It’s also the year with the fewest veteran suicides since 2006, according to veterans’ data.
Under new rules that went into effect Tuesday, the Department of Veterans Affairs will cover the full cost of emergency care for suicidal veterans, including transportation services such as ambulance rides.
The Department of Veterans Affairs also provides appropriate referrals to veterans after the emergency treatment period.
The VA’s authority to conduct expanded medical services is 2020 law called COMPACT lawSponsored by Rep. Mark Takano (California Democrat).
“BIG NEWS: Starting today, veterans can receive free emergency mental health care at VA or non-VA medical facilities thanks to my COMPACT Act.” Takano on Twitter.
In November 2021, the Biden administration announced new strategies aimed at strengthening mental health resources for veterans, including strengthening crisis management facilities and increasing access to mental health resources.
VA also 10 year strategy On preventing veteran suicides in 2018 and creating a larger framework to address the crisis.