WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a major milestone, that 100 percent of its more than 1,000 medical facilities across the country now offer same-day services for urgent primary and mental health-care needs.
Same-day services means a Veteran with an urgent need for primary care and mental health-care receives services that may include: a face-to-face visit with a clinician; advice provided during a call with a nurse; a telehealth or video care visit; an appointment made with a specialist; or a prescription filled the same day, depending upon what best meets the needs of the Veteran.
“We made a commitment to our nation’s Veterans that we would work to reduce wait times and improve access, and we are doing it,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “We were able to meet this goal, in large part, because of the concerted focus of our staff who care for our Veterans in facilities across the country.”
Since 2014, VA has concentrated its efforts on improving access and meeting the urgent health-care needs of Veterans. In 2016, all of VA’s medical centers offered same-day services for primary and mental health services.
In addition to offering same-day services, VA has reduced patient wait times. VA also implemented a new process to ensure timely follow-up appointments for time-sensitive medical needs. More than 100,000 such appointments have been completed.
In 2017, Veterans completed over 57.5 million appointments and VA clinicians saw almost 6 million patients.
To view access information about each facility nationwide, visit https://www.accesstocare.va.gov/. The information provided at this link is not offered by any major national hospital organization in the country.
When Veterans request care right away, VA will assess the level of urgency and respond with any of the following steps: providing an in-person visit, providing a telehealth or video care visit, responding and sharing information by secure email, or scheduling a future appointment.