One facet of the recently passed VA Mission Act is to provide protections for VA telehealth services. The law extends regulatory protections to VA telehealth providers and blocks states from interfering with providers who are part of the VA telehealth network, even if they do not comply with state regulations.
A major advantage of this system is that it gives physicians the ability to determine if the patient needs to receive care at one of the already crowded VA facilities, or if care would be better received at home or a community care center. Inside the VA clinics, the telehealth system allows patients and local caregivers to connect digitally with physicians and specialists across the VA system. There is another option that launched June 2017, known as the VA Video Connect application. VA Video Connect is a desktop and mobile application that allows patients to connect with physicians and specialists without ever leaving their home. So far, this application has connected over 22,700 veterans with 4,500 unique VA providers—this is especially effective for rural patients who have to travel long distances to their nearest VA health center