Hawaii Health Care Delivery Begins Under new VA Contract
HONOLULU — Today marks the beginning of community health care delivery to our Hawaii Veterans under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contract awarded to TriWest Healthcare Alliance.
“The new Community Care Network (CCN) for Hawaiian Islands contract awards reflect our ongoing commitment to increasing Veterans access to care,” said VA Secretary Robert L. Willkie, “and were designed based on feedback from Veterans and other stakeholders.”
TriWest Health Care Alliance has been managing VA’s community care network in the area. TriWest transitioned to the new Community Care Network today. VA community providers currently contracted by TriWest will not be automatically enrolled in CCN, so they will be required to sign a new contract with TriWest to continue providing services to Veterans under CCN.
“We are confident it will greatly improve care coordination for Veterans here in our area and improve the timeliness of payments to our local community providers,” said Dr. Kathryn Ryder, acting director, VA Pacific Islands Health Care System.
VA’s new community care network is made up of six regions. Region 4 includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
Guam, American Samoa and Saipan will be covered under Region 6 which will happen at a separate time. VA is deploying this new network in phases to ensure continuity-of-care coordination. Veterans will continue to receive care from their current community providers during the transition.
The new network serves as the direct link between VA and local health care providers, providing an industry-standard contract vehicle for VA to purchase care. TriWest will manage the network and process claims for payment to local providers on behalf of VA.
For more information on VA Care in the Community: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/programs/veterans/CCN-Veterans.asp
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For more info: Amy Rohlfs, Public Affairs Officer, 808-433-0049 or 808-208-5544.
VAPIHCS Director’s Message July 10 – Share With Veterans
Aloha, Talofa and Hafa Adai,
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that video telehealth appointments to Veterans’ homes increased over 1,000% nationally, as Veterans increasingly chose virtual care through VA Video Connect (VVC) during the Covid-19 pandemic. VA Pacific Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS) conducted over 15,000 video telehealth appointments between Oct. 2019 to present.
VVC allows Veterans and their caregivers to meet virtually with their VA care teams on any computer, tablet, or mobile device with an internet connection. As face to face interactions decreased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VVC supported Veterans’ abilities to continue care and remain safely at home. VAPIHCS offered virtual appointments in Primary Care, Specialty Care, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Geraitric Care, and Mental Health. VAPIHCS had a 545% increase in VVC appointments. This represented 3,069 VVC appointments per month.
Other telehealth milestones from VAPIHCS include:
- VA telephone appointments increased to 8,070 per month
- VVC is conducted from all Community Based Outpatient Clinics in the Pacific Islands
- 100% of VAPIHCS Primary Care Providers are trained to provide VVC Visits.
VA is also taking strides to bridge the digital divide for Veterans who lack the technology or broadband internet connectivity required to participate in VA telehealth services. At the national level, VA is working with strategic partners, through the VA Secretary’s Center of Strategic Partnerships, to increase access to the technology that Veterans need to connect with their VA health care team virtually.
As we near the three-year anniversary of the launch of VVC, the VA continues to maintain access to high-quality health care for Veterans. As the service becomes more popular, VA remains committed to providing a seamless user experience to ensure Veterans have access to care where and when they need it. If you would like to be seen by VVC or schedule a telephone appointment, call 1-800-214-1306.
Have you heard of Veteran Directed Care (VDC)?
VDC gives Veterans of all ages the opportunity to receive the Home and Community-Based Services they need in a Veteran-directed way. This program is for Veterans who need personal care services and help with activities of daily living. Examples include help with bathing, dressing, or fixing meals. This program is also for Veterans who are isolated, or their caregiver needs assistance providing the Veteran’s care. Veterans in this program receive a budget to purchase these services. The Veteran or the Veteran’s representative manages the budget. With the help of a counselor, Veterans hire their own workers to meet their daily needs to help them live at home or in their community.
PROS of VDC:
- Instead of using agency caregivers like the Homemaker/Home Health Aide (H/HHA) Program, VDC allows Veterans or their Representative to hire their own caregivers
- May provide more hours per week than H/HHA
CONS of VDC:
- The Veteran or their representative will need to find coverage when their employees are unable to work
- The Veteran or their representative has to hire, train, and manage employees
Veterans who may be eligible for VDC:
- Are enrolled for VA health care
- Live at home
- Have a VA Primary Care Provider
- Meet nursing home level of care
- Are able to direct their own care or have a representative chosen by the Veteran to assist
- Are willing to take part in-home assessments and follow up visits from a Coach
The Veteran or Representative must be able to:
- Apply for a tax ID number
- Hire and manage caregivers as employees
- Obtain and submit timesheets for caregivers on time
- Follow program policies and guidelines
Goals of VDC
- Providing Veterans access, choice, and control over their care needs
- Allowing Veterans to remain in their home with flexible support services for as long as possible
- Reduce nursing home placement for long term care
For more information on Veteran Directed Care, contact your VA Primary Care Provider and/or VA Social Worker at 1-800-214-1306. You may also find more information at https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/pages/Veteran-Directed_Care.asp
Lastly, I can’t say this enough, please stay safe – wear your facial covering, keep your physical distancing, wash your hands often, and call us if you have any health concerns. We are here for you, and we have not stopped caring for our Veterans. You are our number one priority!
Mahalo for your service and thank you for choosing VA,
Kathryn Ryder, MD, MS
Acting Medical Center Director
- VA Website: hawaii.va.gov – submit your email to get our updates
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VAPacificIslands
- VAPIHCS Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/va_pacific_islands/
- Weekly Radio VA Updates:
- Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m. on AM830, KHVH with Rick Hamada
- Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. on AM690, The Answer – Aligned with Veterans hour with Mike Buck
The VFW Department of Hawaii has Posts on the islands of Kauai, Molokai, Oahu, Maui, Hawaii and American Samoa.
OUR MISSION: To foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve our veterans, the military, and our communities. To advocate on behalf of all veterans.
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