Friday, July 16, 2010

Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act

On May 5, 2010, President Obama signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 into law. The new law helps to solidify America’s commitment and dedication to its troops, its veterans, and their families. It also expands the services available in certain areas of health care that have proven to need greater attention in recent years, including mental health care, women’s issues, caregiver concerns, and traumatic brain injuries.

The new law:
• Provides veterans’ caregivers with training, counseling, supportive services, and a living stipend. It also provides health care to family caregivers of injured veterans under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)
• Requires VA to train its mental health providers in the treatment of military sexual trauma
• Mandates that VA implement pilot programs to provide child care to women veterans and provide readjustment service specifically aimed towards women veterans.
• Requires VA to assess and report to Congress its evaluation of the barriers in providing health care to the 1.8 million women veterans currently receiving VA healthcare.
• Expands VA’s authority to provide incentives so that VA can recruit and retain quality health care providers
• Provides travel reimbursements for veterans receiving treatment at VA facilities
• Authorizes, in some instances, the care and treatment of veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries at non-VA facilities.
• Establishes and increases eligibility for Iraq and Afghanistan service members, including National Guard and Reserve members, to receive readjustment counseling
• Requires VA to conduct a study on veteran suicides
• Emphasizes VA’s commitment to provide medical care for certain Vietnam-era veterans exposed to herbicide and Gulf War-era veterans who have insufficient medical evidence to establish a service-connected disability
• Eliminates copayments for veterans who are catastrophically disabled

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