The Department of Veterans Affairs and 13 community health systems have pledged to share data to improve the veteran experience regardless of where veterans receive their healt care — inside or outside of VA.
The healthcare systems partnering with VA in this effort are Emory Healthcare, Inova, Jefferson Health, Sanford Health, University of California Davis Health, Intermountain Health, Mass General Brigham, Rush Health, Tufts Medicine, Marshfield Clinic, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals, University of Pittsburg Medical Center, and Atrium Health.
VA and the 13 healthcare systems will work to improve veteran healthcare by seamlessly exchanging information about care provided and requested; save money for veterans by ensuring that they are taking advantage of VA and community resources; and connect veterans with VA benefits, including new benefits for toxic exposure-related conditions under the PACT Act.
“This pledge will improve veteran health care by giving us seamless, immediate access to a patient’s medical history, which will help us make timely and accurate treatment decisions,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Shereef Elnahal, M.D., M.B.A., in a statement. “It will also empower VA to send helpful information to our partner health systems that they can then offer to Veterans in their care — including information about new benefits we are offering under the PACT Act, no-cost emergency suicide care, and more.”
In one example of the potential benefit, this type of information sharing could help inform a non-VA doctor that a Veteran experiencing an acute suicidal crisis should receive care at no cost, uncer VA’s new policy. Additionally, it could inform a non-VA doctor about how the PACT Act could help a veteran patient – thus empowering the provider to encourage that veteran to file for benefits.
“It is a privilege for us to care for our veterans, and this collaboration will help provide a better healthcare experience for the men and women who have done so much for us,” said Capt. Paul Weckman, head of military and veteran affairs at Sanford Health, in a statement. “We wholeheartedly support the VA’s goals of improving care for our nation’s veterans because it is the right thing to do.”