WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, along with U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) called on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald to commit to maintaining medical services veterans receive through the Access Received Closer to Home (ARCH) program as the VA prepares to deliver a consolidation plan for non-VA community care to Congress next week.
In a letter, the senators stated, “ARCH provides medical care for veterans living in rural areas or for those who are burdened with long wait times for services…According to Congressionally mandated reports to the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs, more than 90 percent of veterans participating in ARCH are overwhelmingly satisfied with their access to care and the medical services they receive from the participating community providers.”
Since 2011, the ARCH pilot program has been operating in five rural sites across the country including Pratt, Kan. ARCH serves rural veterans by giving them access to health care from a community provider close to home instead of traveling several hours to seek care at a VA facility. The inclusion of a two-year extension of the ARCH program in the Choice Act helped to make certain rural veterans were able to continue accessing timely, high-quality care closer to home. Sen. Moran urges Secretary McDonald to capitalize on the demonstrated success of the ARCH program in the VA’s consolidated plan for non-VA, community care.
Sen. Moran has been an advocate for improved accessibility to health care for rural veterans through the ARCH program. In 2014, Sen. Moran sponsored the Choice Act, which implemented significant reforms at the VA and created the Choice Program – a pilot initiative based in part on the success of ARCH.
The full text of the senators’ letter is available here.
Sen. Moran encourages veterans in rural areas to enroll in VA health care and receive the care they have earned through the Choice Act. Click here to see if you qualify for the ARCH program.
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