Telehealth-encouraging VETS Act passes Senate

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Veterans across America are one step closer to receiving care through telehealth due to the Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

“The VETS Act will help Hawaii veterans access high quality VA care and health services when they need it, where they need it,” said Senator Hirono. “I urge the swift enactment of the bill and will continue to fight to ensure Hawaii veterans can access the care they need from a strong, well-resourced VA system.”

Introduced in 2015 by Senators Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, the VETS Act aims to improve veterans access to telehealth services, including mental health treatments, provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The act allows VA health officials to practice across state lines, increasing the availability of telehealth services to veterans residing in rural areas. Additionally, the VA and Congress will provide oversight of the telehealth program by requiring the VA to collect data on the effectiveness of the program.

“All of our veterans must have access to quality and timely care, including life-saving mental health treatment, regardless of where they live,” said Ernst. “The VETS Act would allow Iowa’s rural or disabled veterans to receive care from their own home by increasing telehealth and telemedicine services provided by the VA. With more than 200,000 veterans across Iowa, I am thrilled to see our bipartisan effort advance through the U.S. Senate so we can continue working to ensure better care for those who have sacrificed so much.”