Health | National

Agreement allows VA to reimburse IHS for veterans' services





The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Service reached an agreement to address health care for American Indian and Alaska Native veterans.

Under the agreement, the VA will reimburse the Indian Health Service for services provided to veterans. This means veterans can seek care at IHS facilities closer to home rather than going to the VA.

"There is a long, distinguished tradition of military service among tribes," Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said in a press release. "VA is committed to expanding access to native Veterans with the full range of VA programs, as earned by their service to our Nation."

"The President has called on all Cabinet Secretaries to find better ways to provide our military families with the support they deserve, and that is exactly what we are doing today," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans benefit from this agreement, which provides increased options for health care services."

The agreement lasts three years, with options to renew up to five years.

Get the Story:
Agreement boosts access for American Indian vets (AP 12/6)

Relevant Documents:
Agreement Between Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration and Department of Health and Human Services Indian Health Service For Reimbursement For Direct Health Care Services (December 2012)