Growing numbers of veterans seek care at community health centers

BETHESDA, MD., November 11, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Nearly 400,000 veterans seek care at community health centers for services and their numbers have grown steadily over the past five years. During the pandemic, veterans were able to access COVID vaccines and tests at health centers and also receive other essential primary care services, such as behavioral health, social and dental services. The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) works in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure that the unique needs of the men and women who have served in our country’s military are met. Highlights of the NACHC / VA partnership include:

Facilitate veterans’ access to care thanks to the “Community Care” program. The program allows veterans to receive care from a community provider if the wait for an appointment with an AV provider is more than 20 days or if the driving time is more than 30 minutes. It also enables veterans to receive affordable emergency care services from non-VA providers, including health centers.

NACHC is also participating in a pilot dental access program known as “VETSmile” launched last July. The program connects veteran patients enrolled in VA who are not eligible for limited VA dental services to community dental providers – including health centers. Two of the four initial community providers who signed up as partners are health centers.

NACHC also provides training and technical assistance to health centers to help them optimize screening and services to effectively meet the evolving health needs of ex-combatants. The NACHC is continuously developing webinars and information for veteran care, and facilitates an informal network and information cluster of health centers to share promising practices, policy updates and operational information.

“Veterans who have served and sacrificed for our nation should have access to quality, affordable health care without having to stand in line,” said Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of NACHC. “The health centers remain committed to working with our federal partners, the VA, veteran service organizations, and state and local veterans offices to ensure that veterans can access all the services they need. to stay healthy in these difficult times. We are proud that the health centers only serve veterans, they also employ them at many sites across the country. “

To learn more about serving veteran health center resources, please visit this link.

Established in 1971, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is the national voice of U.S. health centers and an advocate for access to health care for the medically underserved and uninsured.

SOURCE National Association of Community Health Centers

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