A managed care company has added the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system to its provider network.

Aetna Inc., Hartford, says it believes it is the first national health plan to negotiate a participating provider agreement with the VA health care system.

The agreement affects patients in all plans administered by Aetna; they can use Aetna in-network benefits to pay for VA services.

The agreement includes VA physicians, dentists and behavioral health providers in the United States and Puerto Rico as well as the 153 VA hospitals and the 181 VA outpatient clinics, Aetna says.

Aetna notes that the agreement includes the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.