Veterans Day ceremony 1 (copy)

A color guard’s flags wave in the wind during a Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 11, 2019, at Veterans Memorial Place near Veterans Memorial Bridge in Mankato.

The Free Press

MANKATO — Many military veterans soon will have a new option for seeking medical care, thanks to a recent agreement between Mayo Clinic Health System and the Veterans Administration.

The agreement makes it possible for authorizations for care at any of Mayo Clinic Health System’s locations. Effective Saturday, it replaces an interim 2019 agreement.

Eligible veterans who live in the Upper Midwest may receive care in their communities from Mayo system providers — as well as care at its locations in Minnesota, Arizona and Florida for their complex health issues.

No changes in care are anticipated for veterans with established hospice and dialysis services.

While there are VA health care facilities in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, not all veterans who are patients have access in their communities to the medical care their health conditions require.

This expanded access is a result of Mayo Clinic’s participation in the Department of Veterans Affairs Community Care Network.

“In keeping with the Mayo Clinic model of care, more options will be available for them to obtain high-quality care close to home,” Dr. Pierre Noel, director of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Military Medicine, said in a press release.

“We are uniquely equipped to help patients with highly complex health care concerns and are pleased to have found another pathway for these veterans to receive care.”

To determine eligibility and for more information about their VA benefits options, veterans should contact a VA care team/coordinator or go to the Community Care Network website.

To search by state for VA benefits and health care information, go to: va.gov/directory/guide/allstate.asp.

Veterans may also call the VA‘s Office of Community Care Customer Service at: 877-881-7618.

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