VA Community Care Network Program Guide and FAQs

This article exists to help Veterans understand what Community Care Partners do, why they are imperative for Veterans seeking addiction treatment, and how AAC’s Salute to Recovery program can help Veterans recover from addiction and other mental health conditions.

What is the VA Community Care Network (CCN)?

The Veterans Affairs Community Care Network (CCN) is a system of healthcare providers who provide necessary care to Veterans when the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is unable to do so—either due to a Veteran’s location or specific unmet healthcare needs.1

Physicians, facilities, and other practitioners belonging to the CCN are external providers located in your community that may offer a wider range of services than your local VA offers, including treatment for Veterans with addiction and co-occurring mental health diagnoses. Services with Community Care providers are usually covered, or “purchased,” by the VA.2

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a Community Care Partner, which means that Veterans can receive excellent and timely care at any of our facilities when they require treatment for alcohol or drug misuse.

Contact us to see if you qualify at You may also fill in our instant online verification form below.

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What are the Benefits of the VA Community Care Network?

The VA Community Care Network offers several benefits to both providers and potential patients, with perhaps the biggest advantage being a streamlined process to receiving care for Veterans, as well as more extensive access to high-quality treatment providers.

When a drug and alcohol treatment provider is a CCN partner, it can considerably expand the treatment options available to Veterans seeking addiction treatment in their area of residence. It can also make a wider range of care options available that are tailored more precisely to fit a Veteran’s unique needs.

Being a VA Community Care Network provider also limits—or sometimes entirely eliminates—the need for a Veteran or their family member to receive prior authorization from the VA to receive care with this provider.

In 2019, the VA launched its MISSION Act, a program designed to offer Veterans a wider range of healthcare providers that may be closer to them or offer services that their local VA doesn’t provide.3 If a Veteran meets all criteria for addiction care with the VA, addiction coverage for a Veteran may include:4

How does Community Care Work?

If a Veteran needs care that the VA cannot provide, either due to the Veteran’s location or another specific need or medical necessity, the Veteran can seek care with an approved Community Care provider, such as AAC.

Sometimes, certain physicians, facilities, or clinicians are a better fit for Veterans than what is currently available to them at the VA. To receive care with a Community Care provider, you must first seek approval through the VA.

To get started, the first step is to make an appointment at the VA, where they will determine if you are eligible.1 Once you’ve received authorization for Community Care, you can search for an approved provider, or VA staff can assist you.1 Then schedule an appointment and notify the VA, who will send your referral to you and the provider.1 For more information, call or chat with the VA.

Additional Support

Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) Regional Networks

The VA Community Care Network is made up of six regional networks that act as “contract vehicles” for the VA to purchase care for Veterans from local providers when the VA cannot provide appropriate care to a Veteran. These six regional networks act to streamline the process of receiving care for Veterans and beneficiaries.5

(Map Source).

How much does Community Care Cost?

The cost of a Community Care provider depends upon the provider, the services provided, and the Veteran patient’s specific needs. Veterans may have copayments of $15 or more that are billed through the VA, depending on the service provided and the Veteran’s medical necessity.6

The MISSION Act provides expanded coverage for Veterans with specific needs, such as Veterans with substance use disorders or other mental health conditions. Treatment programs created exclusively for Veterans provide services in a more targeted and effective fashion. AAC’s Salute to Recovery program allows Veterans to get treatment that is specifically tailored to their needs and experiences. Together, the VA MISSION Act and AAC work to make recovery an easier and more accessible mission.

Am I Eligible for Community Care?

If you are a Veteran, you may be eligible for care through a local Community Care provider, depending on your specific medical necessities and circumstances. Usually, to avoid being billed for their care, Veterans must receive approval from the VA before receiving covered care from a Community Care provider.7,8

To qualify for Community Care under the MISSION Act, Veterans must:7,8

  1. Be enrolled in VA healthcare.
  2. Attain approval from the VA prior to receiving care from a Community Care provider.

Eligibility for receiving Community Care depends on whether someone meets the following criteria. A Veteran does NOT have to meet all of these criteria to be eligible to receive VA-covered care with a CCN provider:7,8,9

  • The specific service the Veteran needs is not available at a VA facility.
  • Veteran lives in a U.S. state or territory that doesn’t have a full-service VA medical facility.
  • Veteran cannot meet certain access standards. Access standards include a 30-minute or less drive time for primary care, 60-minute or less drive time for specialty care, being able to book an appointment within 20 days for primary care, and being able to book an appointment within 28 days for specialty care.
  • The services are in the best medical interest of the Veteran.
  • The VA can’t provide care within designated access standards (e.g., average drive time of 30 minutes or wait of 20 days for primary/mental healthcare or 60 minutes or wait of 28 days for specialty care).
  • Quality standards are not being met by a particular VA healthcare service line.

How do I Find a VA Community Care Network Provider?

If you think you are eligible to receive care at a CCN provider, your first step is to make an appointment with the VA to attain prior-authorization for payment.7 After you’ve received authorization to receive Community Care with an approved provider, you can search for a provider through the Veterans Affair’s location finder.7

After finding a provider you are interested in, you may schedule an appointment with this provider and then notify the VA, who will send your referral to you and the provider.7 For more information on the process of receiving care with a VA CCN provider, call the VA.

AAC is a VA partner and CCN provider, meaning that we are members of the VA’s Community Care provider network and are eligible to offer care to thousands of Veterans in the United States.

FAQs

AAC is a Community Care Provider

AAC is a Community Care provider, which means that we are members of the VA’s Community Care provider network.

Community Care providers, such as AAC, ensure that Veterans receive timely and high-quality care. To obtain certification as a Community Care provider, a treatment provider must enter into a Veterans Care Agreement with the VA and meet their stringent criteria.1

Veterans seeking treatment can rest assured that AAC has met all of the VA’s certification guidelines. In addition, providers like AAC can access the VA’s improved technology systems, which allow for electronic file sharing to expedite the referral and treatment process.1 Providers are also able to access required training materials from the VA, which helps to maintain high standards of care.1

AAC’s Salute to Recovery Program for Veterans

AAC’s Salute to Recovery program is specially designed to treat first responders and Veterans with substance use and mental health disorders, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. The Salute to Recovery program is the best program for Veterans. Treatment may include:  

Take the first step on the road to recovery. Learn more about AAC's Salute to Recovery program.

AAC is the leading provider of addiction treatment in the U.S. We specialize in evidence-based treatment and believe in providing treatment that addresses addiction from every angle. This means that AAC’s treatment methods have been thoroughly evaluated and proven effective in scientific research. In addition, all treatment programs are tailor-made to meet your specific needs.

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