Senators Manchin and Capito want mobile testing listed under emergency/urgent care

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CHARLESTON,WV (WVNS) — U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) are requesting the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie to cover COVID-19 mobile testing sites as urgent and emergency care. The senators sent out their letters on Monday, April 27, 2020.

Mobile testing sites are not covered by the VA’s urgent and emergency care policies. This makes it difficult for veterans across the country to travel to the nearest VA facilities or pay for the test out-of-pocket.

“As you know, the VA MISSION Act expanded urgent and emergency care services, but it did not factor in unforeseen circumstances such as a global pandemic. It is critical that the VA covers COVID-19 mobile testing sites in the same manner as urgent and emergency care, so veterans can access these testing sites, without being stuck with the bill. This is especially important for rural veterans who currently have to choose between traveling to their nearest VA facility or paying for a test out of pocket, if they go to a site within their community.”

Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin

Below is the full letter Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin wrote:

Dear Secretary Wilkie,

We are writing to urge the Department of Veterans Affairs to authorize mobile testing sites in the same manner as the Department’s urgent and emergency services policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you know, the VA MISSION Act expanded urgent and emergency care services, but it did not factor in unforeseen circumstances such as a global pandemic. It is critical that the VA covers COVID-19 mobile testing sites in the same manner as urgent and emergency care, so veterans can access these testing sites, without being stuck with the bill. This is especially important for rural veterans who currently have to choose between traveling to their nearest VA facility or paying for a test out of pocket, if they go to a site within their community.

We applaud the VA’s efforts in caring for veterans during these difficult times, but it is imperative that all veterans have access to COVID-19 testing and urge you to authorize mobile testing sites in the same manner as urgent and emergency care services. We have also requested a phone call with you to discuss the issue we have identified.

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