Payment or reimbursement of the expenses of hospital care and other medical services not previously authorized.
To the extent allowable, payment or reimbursement of the expenses of care, not previously authorized, in a private or public (or Federal) hospital not operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, or of any medical services not previously authorized including transportation (except prosthetic appliances, similar devices, and repairs) may be paid on the basis of a claim timely filed, under the following circumstances:
(a) For veterans with service connected disabilities.
Care or services not previously authorized were rendered to a veteran in need of such care or services:
For an adjudicated service-connected disability;
For nonservice-connected disabilities associated with and held to be aggravating an adjudicated service-connected disability;
For any disability of a veteran who has a total disability permanent in nature resulting from a service-connected disability (does not apply outside of the States, Territories, and possessions of the United State, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico);
For any illness, injury or dental condition in the case of a veteran who is participating in a rehabilitation program under 38 U.S.C. ch. 31 and who is medically determined to be in need of hospital care or medical services for any of the reasons enumerated in § 17.48(j); and
38 U.S.C. 1724, 1728
(b) In a medical emergency.
Care and services not previously authorized were rendered in a medical emergency of such nature that delay would have been hazardous to life or health, and
(c) When Federal facilities are unavailable.
VA or other Federal facilities were not feasibly available, and an attempt to use them beforehand or obtain prior VA authorization for the services required would not have been reasonable, sound, wise, or practicable, or treatment had been or would have been refused.
38 U.S.C. 1724, 1728, 7304
[39 FR 1844, Jan. 15, 1974, as amended at 49 FR 5616, Feb. 14, 1984; 51 FR 8672, Mar. 13, 1986; 56 FR 3422, Jan. 30, 1991. Redesignated at 61 FR 21966, May 13, 1996]