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VA Launches New Program for Veterans In Rural Areas
March 6, 2018



According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recent press release, the VA has launched a new program to help veterans living in rural areas gain access psychotherapy and other health-related services.  The new pilot telehealth program is designed for veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Using the new program, veterans in rural areas will be able to access mental healthcare services via telephone or interactive video.


According to the press release, so far, 500 veterans have registered to use the program.  Veterans will have a choice to sign-up for one of two therapies being offered, “ Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) or Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET).


The VA press release reports that veterans participating in the program receive frequent phone calls from a care manager who helps them access services provided by off-site psychiatrists and psychologists. The psychotherapy is delivered via interactive video from a VA medical center to a community-based outpatient clinic (CBOC) or to the Veteran’s home. The telephone care manager also monitors the Veterans’ progress and helps them overcome barriers to care.


Currently, the program is offered in just a few cities across the country, with limited CBOC participation.  So, far the 12 CBOCs  included in the program are in the following cities:  Charleston, South Carolina; Iowa City, Iowa; Little Rock, Arkansas; Denver, Colorado; San Diego, California; and Seattle.


The VA plans to expand the program to more cities by 2020.

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