May 9, 2012
Beginning May 7, the Department of Veterans Affairs will no longer charge Veterans a copayment when they receive care in their homes from VA health professionals using video conferencing.
"Eliminating the copayment for this service will remove an unnecessary financial burden for Veterans," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that Veterans have access to the first-class care they have earned with their service to our Nation."
This change will primarily benefit Veterans with limited mobility, such as spinal cord injury patients. Whenever medically appropriate, VA will make the home the preferred place of care for Veterans to ensure timely and convenient access to VA services.
For more information about telehealth, visit: http://www.telehealth.va.gov/.
Data have shown that expanded use of technology in the home enables patients with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, chronic heart failure and hypertension, to live independently, actively engage in managing their health, and prevents avoidable hospitalization of patients who otherwise may need long-term institutional care.
Home telehealth does not replace the need for nursing home care or for traditional noninstitutional care programs. However, it enhances the ability for many veterans to better understand and manage chronic diseases. This partnership with their care team helps delay the need for institutionalization and enables them to maintain independence for an extended period of time, thus improving their overall quality of life.