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Rural Health Information Hub

Implementation Considerations for Telehealth Programs Serving Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), a healthcare system with a robust telehealth program and a long history of providing innovative telehealth programs to meet the needs of rural veterans.

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 health 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

Rural Promising Practices
Showcases innovative rural promising practices addressing rural veterans' healthcare and access issues. Telehealth is one of the practices selected and described where Veterans Rural Health Resource Center (VRHRC) staff were involved with training, technical consultation, and funding to establish telehealth programs for rural veterans.
Organization(s): Veterans Health Administration Office of Rural Health