Implementation Considerations for Telehealth Programs Serving Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), a healthcare system
with a long history of providing innovative telehealth programs to meet the needs of rural veterans, who account
for approximately 25% of all veterans in the U.S. In
2016, the VA provided over 2
million telehealth episodes of care across over 30 signature telehealth programs.
A specific focus of telehealth programs that serve veterans is behavioral and mental healthcare. Rural
communities that serve veterans from tribal communities may be interested in reviewing implementation
considerations for telemental health clinics for rural Native veterans. The guide discusses cultural
considerations for working with Native veterans in the context of behavioral telehealth and includes training
resources for telemental providers.
Rural communities that serve veterans may also benefit from reviewing the
Implementation Manual for
a Telemental Health Outreach Clinic Between a Veteran Health Administration Facility and an Academic
Health Center, which provides specific information about building partnerships between VA medical
centers and medical facilities on college campuses. Suggestions include ensuring that patients can
receive services in private and confidential spaces and making plans for mental health crises.
Resources to Learn More
Showcases innovative local projects addressing rural veterans' healthcare and access issues. Provides
clinical and operational information about these models for healthcare professionals serving rural
veterans, including those models using telehealth to improve access to care.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration Office
of Rural Health
Telehealth Services in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Outlines the vision and status of telehealth in the VA in 2013. Describes VA national telehealth
programs and outcomes of telehealth services.
Author(s): Darkins, A.