VA announces changes to Emergency Care Payment Policy

On Jan. 12, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced a change in regulations regarding payments for emergency care provided to eligible Veterans in non-VA facilities.


The new regulation extends VAs authority to pay for emergency care provided to eligible Veterans at non-VA facilities until the Veterans can be safely transferred to a VA medical facility.


More than 100,000 Veterans are estimated to be affected by the new rules, at a cost of about $44 million annually.


VA operates 121 emergency departments across the country, which provide resuscitative therapy and stabilization in life-threatening situations. They operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. VA also has 46 urgent care units, which provide care for patients without scheduled appointments who need immediate medical or psychiatric attention.


For more information about emergency care in non-VA facilities, visit