The Mental Health Care Provider Retention Act & The Veteran Prescription Continuity Act

2/15/2016

Helping service members transition to civilian life and improving the coordination of care is key to helping veterans in El Paso and across that nation. That is why today I reintroduced two bipartisan bills to help address these challenges.

The first is the Mental Health Care Provider Retention Act, which will provide service members receiving mental health care from the Department of Defense the option of keeping their provider upon their exit from the military.

Too many veterans cannot get in to see a mental health provider. For example the first year we started measuring this, 37% of veterans surveyed could not get a mental health care appointment at the El Paso VA.

Having an established relationship with a single, trusted mental health care provider ultimately helps our veterans get better. This bill will help ensure that can happen.

The second bill is the Veteran Prescription Continuity Act. This bill will help ensure service members can get the same prescription drugs they are receiving on active duty once they leave the military and get their health care through the VA.

Our military heroes should receive the best medicines regardless of whether they are on active duty or a veteran. Right now there’s no guarantee a patient can be prescribed the same drug by a VA doctor as a DoD doctor unless that medication is for post-traumatic stress or chronic pain.

The Veteran Prescription Continuity Act requires the VA and DoD to work together to ensure a veteran can access the same prescriptions he or she received while on active duty, regardless of the condition being treated.

My thanks to Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina and Congressman Mike Coffman of Colorado for joining me in introducing these common sense bills for our veterans.

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