Fischer Led Delegation Letter in 2023 Urging VA to Establish Pilot Program in NE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) released the following statement after the Nebraska Rural Health Association (NeRHA) announced that the VA of Nebraska and Western Iowa was selected as a pioneering site for a new system to improve rural Nebraska veterans’ access to health care.

“This announcement is great news for veterans across Nebraska — especially in our rural areas. It recognizes our state’s unique position and ongoing leadership in caring for veterans. In the Senate, I’ll continue supporting efforts to ensure that every veteran receives the care they have earned,” said Senator Fischer.

“Our selection as a pilot state is a testament to the leadership of Senator Fischer and the reputation of our rural healthcare systems. The Federal VA team in Omaha and Grand Island along with Nebraska VA leadership were a big part of bringing this innovative approach to care to Nebraska and speaks volumes to their dedication to health care for our veterans. This was truly a group effort and I look forward to working with the VA and hospital leadership teams across Nebraska to implement this program for our veterans,” said Nebraska Rural Health Association Executive Director Jed Hansen.


The Fischer-backed VA MISSION Act created the Community Care Program, which enables veterans who meet certain requirements, such as living more than a 60-minute drive from a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility, to receive care in the community paid for by the VA.

However, because this care is received at non-VA providers, it can be difficult for community providers to communicate with the VA about the health care needs of a veteran and provide timely referrals. 

Last year, Senator Fischer led all five members of the Nebraska congressional delegation in sending a letter urging the VA to create a new rural veteran referral pilot program in Nebraska to improve care coordination between the VA and rural providers.

The Rural Veterans Health Access Program expands the reach of the VA MISSION Act by increasing the number of hospitals and clinics available to Nebraska veterans. The program will help link Nebraska’s hospitals directly to VA care coordination teams in Omaha.

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