HCC’s Live Well Clinics Designated as Veterans Choice Program Providers
The Health Care Collaborative (HCC) of Rural Missouri recently announced that its Live Well Community Health Centers have received designation as Veterans Choice Program providers. The move comes after the federal government signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA). The goal is to make health care services more accessible to veterans in a more timely fashion.
“We are so pleased to offer this program to the many veterans in our area that have sacrificed and served our armed forces,” said Cathy Wallace, HCC’s vice president of operations. “We are honored to be among the community health centers in this nation to provide integrated health care to our veterans. They have served us well. Now it’s our turn.”
The Veterans Choice Program is designed to help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to deliver high-quality health care to eligible veterans and expand options for them to receive needed health care services close to home. The Live Well Community Health Centers in Buckner, Carrollton, Concordia and Waverly are now providing care for veterans who meet Veterans Choice Program’s eligibility requirements.
Determining factors for eligibility
Eligible veterans must be enrolled in the VA health care system and must also meet at least one of the following criteria:
The veteran was told by their local VA medical facility that they will not be able to schedule an appointment for care within 30 days of the date the provider determines that he or she needs to be seen; or within 30 days of the date he or she wishes to be seen if there is no specific date from the provider.
The veteran’s current residence is more than 40 miles driving distance from the closest VA medical facility (including community-based outpatient clinics) that has a full time primary care physician.
The veteran faces an unusual or excessive burden to travel to the closest VA medical facility based on geographic challenges, environmental factors, or a medical condition. Staff at his or her local VA medical facility with help determine eligibility for any of these reasons.
The veteran’s specific health care needs, including the nature and frequency of the care needed, warrants participation in the program. Staff at his or her local VA medical facility will help determine eligibility for any of these reasons.
How to become eligible
Veterans may call the Choice Program at 866.606.8198 to verify eligibility. Veterans who are distance-eligible can also call this phone number to make a Veterans Choice Appointment. Those who are wait-list eligible will receive a phone call from a VA partner to help setup his or her Veteran Choice Program appointment.
As for those who do not receive approval for care under the Veterans Choice Program, they may be required to pay for some or all of the costs of the non-VA treatment received, as some providers will not be covered by the Veterans Choice Program.
Those who do quality for the Program will receive a Choice Card for Veterans. It allows veterans to choose to receive care outside of the VA. The Choice Card does not replace the identification card used to access other VA benefits. Any veteran who wishes to continue with their current VA care can do so and do not need to do anything at this time. Any veteran who has been determined as eligible for the program and did not receive their Choice Card can still participate in the Veterans Choice Program.
Interested veterans may call 866.606.8198 to get started or visit www.va.gov/opa/choiceact to learn more.