A key part of supporting America’s veterans is ensuring they have access to high-quality, affordable health care when they need it. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) currently provides care at more than 1,200 of its facilities nationwide.https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/division.asp?dnum=1 However, given the high demand for the VA’s services, there’s a unique opportunity for other community providers to help increase access and reduce wait times for veterans needing treatment for minor illnesses and conditions.
Enactment of the VA Mission Act
Partnering with stakeholders, including government agencies like the VA, is an important part of our efforts to provide patients with the right care at the right time. That’s why CVS Health applauds the enactment of the VA Mission Act – new legislation which will provide eligible veterans with increased access to walk-in care from qualifying community providers.
Since 2016, we have partnered with the VA to implement programs that expand access to veterans’ health care services at various MinuteClinic locations and have delivered care to more than 2,300 veterans to date.
Expanding Access to Veterans
The new VA Mission Act expands the ability of MinuteClinic to serve our nation’s veterans, and builds off of several successful programs, including:
- In 2016, MinuteClinic partnered with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System on a program to provide increased access to health care services for veterans;
- In April 2017, the Phoenix VA Health Care System replicated this initiative through the VA’s CHOICE program, enabling veterans to access 23 MinuteClinic locations in the Phoenix area; and
- The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System also recently initiated a similar program with MinuteClinic in Santa Clarita, California.
Our partnership with the VA also prioritizes care coordination to ensure integration and continuity across different sites of care. MinuteClinic has established integrated information technology with the VA, allowing MinuteClinic to make patient data available to the VA via the eHealth Exchange. This provides the VA with a full record of any medical services provided during the MinuteClinic visit.
With more than 1,100 locations in 33 states and the District of Columbia, MinuteClinic provides access to acute, chronic, and wellness needs such as consultations, vaccinations and preventative screenings. MinuteClinic sees patients on a walk-in basis and is open seven days a week – often with extended hours – including evenings and holidays.
We look forward to the opportunity presented by the VA Mission Act to continue to serve the veteran community.
For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.