Lourdes Helps Veterans Receive Care Through Veterans Choice Program

Posted on May 26, 2016

Lourdes announced a partnership to provide care to Veterans through the Veterans Choice Program, giving veterans the choice to receive care at Lourdes Health locations throughout the Tri-Cities.

As part of Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit healthcare system and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Lourdes Health joins 23 other states and the District of Columbia in sustaining and improving the health of individuals and our communities by serving as an official provider of Veteran Care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Now qualified U.S. veterans who face wait times in excess of 30 days at the VA or have to travel farther than 40 miles from their home can receive care from Lourdes Health doctors.

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 established funding to pay for healthcare services provided to veterans by private healthcare providers. Through the partnership, Lourdes Health physicians and other caregivers are authorized to provide primary care, inpatient and outpatient specialty care, and mental health care for eligible veterans outside of VA.

Ascension has established a contractual agreement with TriWest Healthcare Alliance and national provider registration with Health Net Federal Services, LLC — both are federal contractors to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As Veterans Choice Program contractors, TriWest and Health Net are designated by VA to implement the Veterans Choice Program and provide eligible veterans access to care in their community when the local VA facility cannot readily provide care.

Nearly 9 million veterans received the Veterans Choice Card. Use of the card is strictly voluntary; veterans who qualify for VA healthcare can continue to receive care at a VA medical facility as they have in the past. The program will end when the allocated funds of $10 billion are used or no later than August 7, 2017.

Veterans can determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program at http://www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/ or by calling the number on their Choice Card 1-866-606-8198.

U.S. veterans, Lourdes Health patients and caregivers who are interested in learning more about the Veterans Choice Program are encouraged to visit www.ascension.org/veterans.