Veterans Can Now Receive Care from St. Vincent & St. Mary’s Doctors through the Veterans Choice Program
INDIANAPOLIS — St. Vincent today announced a partnership to provide care through the Veterans Choice Program, giving veterans the choice to receive care at St. Vincent locations throughout Indiana, which includes St. Mary’s. As part of Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit healthcare system and the world’s largest Catholic health system, St. Vincent 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 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Now qualified U.S. veterans who face wait times in excess of 30 days at the VA or need to travel farther than 40 miles from their home can receive care from St. Vincent doctors at 20 hospital locations throughout Indiana.
“Our nation’s military men and women provide an invaluable service to our country, and we are privileged to be able to do our part to ensure that they receive the critical patient-centered healthcare that they deserve,” said Jonathan Nalli, CEO of St. Vincent. “This partnership provides an opportunity to break down barriers to timely care, while delivering high-quality, personalized healthcare for Indiana’s military veterans.”
The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 established funding to pay for healthcare services provided to veterans by private healthcare providers. Through this partnership, St. Vincent physicians and other caregivers are authorized to provide primary care, inpatient and outpatient specialty care, and mental health care for eligible veterans outside the VA.
“We’re indebted to Hoosier veterans for their efforts to keep our state and nation safe. Through this new partnership, we can help ensure that our veterans receive the timely-care they need regardless of where they may live,” added Nalli.
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 the 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.