In an example of a federal agency using technology to expand its services to locations where it doesn’t have a physical presence, the VA has finalized rules on allowing its health care providers to virtually administer care through an app.
The rules were issued under an initiative announced a year ago called Anywhere to Anywhere, designed especially to benefit veterans living in rural areas who otherwise would need to travel a considerable distance or across state lines to receive care.
“Previously, it was unclear whether VA providers could furnish care to veterans in other states through telehealth because of licensing restrictions or state-specific telehealth laws. This new rule exercises federal preemption to override those state restrictions, paving the way for VA to expand care to veterans using telehealth,” an announcement said.
“The rule also will expand veterans’ access to critical care that can be provided virtually — such as mental health care and suicide prevention–by allowing quicker and easier access to VA mental health providers through telehealth,” it said.