VA Expands Veterans’ Access to Primary Care from Community Health Care
Long waiting lists for care at VA hospitals and clinics was one of the top complaints against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the summer of 2014. Since former VA Secretary Shinseki stepped down and an in-depth investigation of VA practices and programs was launched, reducing veterans’ wait times for health care has been one of the top priorities of the agency.
On August 13, the VA announced an expansion to the VA’s Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) program. The program connects with non-VA medical facilities and groups to provide expanded care to veterans when local VA medical centers cannot keep up with demand. Initial contracts were already awarded in September 2013, and new contracts will include primary care.
Prior to this initiative, the PC3 program allowed VA facilities to contract community health care services to provide care for the following types of services.
- inpatient specialty care.
- outpatient specialty care.
- mental health care.
- limited emergency care.
- and, limited newborn care for female veterans.
Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Interim Under Secretary for Health, believes that expansion of PC3 will allow the VA to provide veterans with timely access to health care services.
Meanwhile, regular medical care is an important part of developing evidence for a veterans disability claim. Veterans with a well-documented health history that shows when a service-connected disability was diagnosed and ongoing treatment for that disability may find it easier to prove their eligibility for a disability rating. If you have questions about your VA disability claim, contact Disability Help Group to speak with one of our veterans claim representatives. Call today – 1-(800)-800-3332.