The Veterans Administration and AtlantiCare have entered into an agreement that both organizations hope will enhance access to quality care for veterans. Effective immediately, veterans who are members of the VA’s Choice Program can get care at AtlantiCare facilities, with approval from the VA.
“The VA is committed to enhancing access to healthcare services in its community-based clinics in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties,” said Vincent Kane, medical director, Wilmington Veterans Administration Hospital. “Through this local provider agreement, the VA can partner with AtlantiCare, which has a long history of caring for the community, to increase veterans’ access to high-quality healthcare when that care is not available through the VA or when the VA is not able to deliver that care timely.”
“AtlantiCare, in collaboration with the VA, has been evaluating ways to enhance care for veterans,” said Lori Herndon, president and CEO, AtlantiCare. “Our leaders, providers and staff are committed to meeting the health and wellness needs of active-duty and retired veterans. Through this new model, we will continue to work with the VA, and to listen to and learn from veterans, as we expand the care we provide those who have, and are serving our country.”
Under the provider agreement, veterans will still clear non-emergency treatment through the VA before getting it, and notify the VA after getting emergency care. VA leaders will meet with AtlantiCare representatives in the coming weeks to further discuss how the two organizations will evolve their coordinated care of veterans.
Kane said veterans seeking information should contact their local VA community based outpatient clinic (CBOC), locations and information are on the VA website; or attend VA Town Hall meetings.
“Over the past year in partnership with the VA, we have significantly expanded community-based services available locally for South Jersey veterans,” said Frank LoBiondo, New Jersey, United States congressman, 2nd District. “Today’s agreement with AtlantiCare will greatly enhance those efforts, offering our veterans outstanding medical care in their home communities. Bringing even more services remains the mission that will not end.”
“When our great veterans go off to war, they do so from all corners of our country. When they come home, getting the mental and physical care that they require can sometimes be a burden,” said Joe Griffies, veteran, veterans advocate, and host of the Welcome Home Veterans show on WIBG 120 AM and 101.3 FM. “Travelling long distances and even out of state for that care, can add to their stress and illness. With AtlantiCare’s partnership with the VA, what was sometimes a 100-mile drive for a veteran, crossing a bridge to Delaware or Pennsylvania, could now be a shorter drive. This partnership is going to be a model for the rest of our county in which veterans can get quality care when and where they need it, close to home.”
For more information about partnered care, veterans should speak with their primary physician or patient aligned care team (PACT) member through their local community based outpatient clinic.
About the VA Choice Program
President Donald Trump signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 in August. It was an extension of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, or Veterans Choice Act, President Barack Obama signed in August, 2014, which created the Veterans Choice Program.
For more information about AtlantiCare, visit www.atlanticare.org, call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000 or find AtlantiCare on Facebook.