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Communicating with VA

Set up a meeting with someone at the hospital, or in a VA clinic, to find out more about what is provided at that location and what services may be helpful for your client.
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If your client has or is currently being seen for services at a VA Medical Center, it may be helpful to speak directly to their VA care provider. VA Medical Centers use Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) which involve each Veteran working with their health care professionals to address all aspects of the Veterans health. Veterans are assigned care managers through these teams which are often nurses or social workers. Additionally, if you have questions about navigating the care available to Veterans at the VA, you may also contact the Patient Advocate at your local VA. If you and your Veteran client would like to obtain medical records about your client’s treatment at a VA Medical Center, please see below:

Accessing and Sharing Medical Records

If you have spoken with your client and believe it would be helpful in treatment to review his or her medical records, there are a few ways you and your client can access VA medical records.

By Phone: You can contact the Release of Information (ROI) office at the VA facility from which your client receives or has received services. The individuals working in this office will be able to tell you what information they will need from you in order to be able to release the Veteran's medical records. To reach the Release of Information office, you can call your local VA Medical Center directly and ask the operator to connect you to the Release of Information Office.

Electronically: The Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) Health Program: VLER Health Exchange is a program to help “Connect Your Docs” by enabling VA and non-VA providers to securely access certain Veteran health information electronically using the eHealth Exchange. The eHealth Exchange is a secure, trusted internet exchange. VA requires a Veteran-signed authorization (VA Form 10-0485) prior to sharing Veteran health information with non-VA providers.

To view instructions on how to “connect your docs” online, by mail, or in person see: http://www.va.gov/VLER/vler-health-exchange-registration-guide.asp#online

 

Communicating with a VA Provider

Below are some suggestions on how to find out more about the services available.

  • Read the Guide: Download the VA's Guide to Mental Health Services for Veterans & Families. This handbook provides information about mental health services that your local or regional VA health care facility has pledged to provide to Veterans.
  • Make a Personal Connection: Locate your nearest VA Medical Center or Vet Center using our program locator. Set up a meeting with someone at the hospital, or in a VA clinic, to find out more about what is provided at that location and what services may be helpful for your client. If you have difficulty reaching someone immediately, please try again - sometimes it can take a few calls to find the person who can answer your specific questions. See our VA Acronyms Directory to find a list of frequently used acronyms for clinics and other VA services.
  • Contact a VA Transition and Care Management (TCM) (formerly OEF/OIF/OND) Team: The VA Healthcare System has taken steps to ensure that returning Veterans have access to the best care possible upon their return. Each VA hospital has a Transition and Care Management (TCM) team (formerly OEF/OIF/OND: Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn care management team). This team can provide your client with information about available benefits and resources. Contact your local VA TCM (OEF/OIF/OND) Team or call the VA Health Benefits Line at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).

To find additional support services and resources for your Veteran client, under Key Topics please go to the section labeled 'Resources to support the care you provide to Veterans'.

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