Funding Rehab for Veterans with the MISSION Act and Community Care
While substance abuse is an issue that cuts across the goal, one group that can be heavily impacted by it is veterans. All branches of the military have former service members who deal with alcohol and drug addiction and, while Veterans Affairs’ (VA) treatment centers provide high-quality care for many, there are some veterans who are unable to obtain treatment through VA due to a lack of availability or accessibility.
This is why the MISSION Act was introduced. The MISSION Act is a program that provides veterans with greater access to medical care. It increases the care options that are available for veterans to receive treatment for substance abuse and also gives veterans increased flexibility in finding a program that best meets their needs.1,2
What is the MISSION Act?
Providing care for those veterans who cannot get needed care through VA, the MISSION Act helps eligible and qualified veterans obtain treatment through community care providers (CCPs).
Who is Eligible Under the MISSION Act?
Eligibility for treatment through a CCP depends on the veteran’s healthcare needs and circumstances.1 In order to be eligible for community care, veterans need to meet one of the following criteria:1
- Needed care is not provided at a VA medical facility
- State of residence does not have a full-service VA medical facility
- Qualification under the distance eligibility for the distance eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program “Grandfather” provision.
- Access requirements cannot be met by VA provided care
- The care will best meet the veteran’s needs
- The care for a specific need is not meeting quality standards
VA must typically provide approval of eligibility and the CCP before a veteran receives care. In addition to receiving approval, veterans must also be enrolled in or be eligible for VA health care.1
Once a veteran is determined to be eligible, VA staff can assist in finding an in-network community care provider or they can find one using the VA Facility Locator.1 Once an appointment has been set, VA staff should be notified so that a referral can be sent to the provider so that appropriate medical records can be forwarded.1
What is Community Care?
Community care allows veterans to receive treatment from a local community provider.3 While the MISSION Act expands care options, the community care provider must be part of the VA network before the veteran can receive approved care.3
VA has created the Community Care Network (CCN), which is made up of community providers administered by Third Party Administrators (TPAs). Once the CCN is implemented, VA can then directly work with veterans to schedule community care appointments (or have the veterans schedule their own appointments in certain cases) and continue to support that care moving forward.3 This allows VA to have continued participation in veteran care and treatment, even if it is not directly providing that treatment.
Included in the community care providers are facilities that provide treatment for alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers.
VA Community Care Providers
American Addiction Centers’ Desert Hope and Recovery First are both approved VA. Both facilities have Salute to Recovery programs that are designed specifically to treat veterans with both SUDs and mental health disorders.
Desert Hope, in Las Vegas, Nevada, has an inpatient program expressly created for veterans who are looking for recovery from addiction as well as co-occurring disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Recovery First, in Hollywood, Florida, also has a similar program for veterans. Using evidence-based therapies, the program guides veterans as they work to address their substance misuse while also addressing their mental health challenges.
Treatment at both facilities includes trauma groups, grief and loss, relapse prevention, pain management, emotion regulation, cognitive behavioral therapy, recreational therapy, and coping skills. Being a part of a group made of veterans and first responders, where even much of the staff are veterans themselves, allows for recovery to start in a place where common experiences and understanding provide for a safe and supportive environment.
Whether you are looking for care from VA or from a VA-approved community care provider, know that you are not alone and that are places for you where you can find the support and treatment that you deserve. Start that treatment today, call .