VA Expands Access to Primary Care in Local Communities
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced steps they are taking to make it faster and more convenient for veterans to access primary health care.
Specifically, primary care has been added to the services available to veterans through the VA’s Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) program. The PC3 program allows VA medical facilities to refer veterans out to civilian medical providers when the VA cannot readily provide the needed care due to geographic distance or limited capacity.
The initial PC3 contracts were awarded in September, 2013 to Tri-West and HealthNet, but they covered primarily specialty and mental health care.
Given the recent revelations regarding veterans’ wait times for primary care, we are pleased that the VA has expanded the PC3 contracts to cover primary care as well. It will take some time to build the PC3 primary care networks but, eventually, they will help get veterans off of waitlists by serving as a backstop for the VA. We look forward to learning more about the PC3 primary care implementation and other initiatives VA is undertaking to reduce wait times.
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