When faced with an emergency, veterans who need health care might have options outside Veterans Administration health services.
Under the Fee Program, (also called Fee Basis or Non-VA care), the VA may authorize veterans to receive care at non-VA health-care facilities when the needed services are not “feasibly available” at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center, when the veteran is unable to travel the distance to the VA health-care facility because of illness or if a veteran is catastrophically disabled.
Fee-based services can cover virtually anything a veteran needs as long as it is related to a service-connected condition. It also can pay for nonservice-connected care under special conditions.
The use of Fee Basis as a means to provide Non-VA care to veterans is governed by federal laws containing strict eligibility criteria and other policies specifying when and why it can be used. A preauthorization for treatment in the community is required to use Fee Basis care unless the medical event is an emergency. Emergency events may be reimbursed on behalf of the veteran in certain cases.