The VA is expanding one of the largest programs of providing government services on a virtual basis, its Telehealth program that involves more than 50 clinical specialties ranging from dermatology to suicide prevention.

With 700,000 veterans served through the program last year, it already is the largest telehealth program in the country, the department said, and has improved access to services for veterans in locations far from a VA facility–a special concern for urgent situations involving physical or mental health.

The VA said it will explicitly authorize the providing of health care services regardless of where the provider or veteran is located, removing a potential barrier involving state licensing requirements.

It also is making available nationwide two programs now available only in certain test locations: a web-enabled video service accessible by mobile phones or personal computers; and an application allowing veterans to schedule or modify appointments.