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Understanding the VA Community Care Network

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Family Integrative Medicine physician explains how the VA Community Care Network cares for veterans

Established by the Mission Act of 2018, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Care Network is an extended network of local community providers who deliver superb medical services for veterans. This is designed to offer better access and a greater range of choice for veterans seeking health care.

If it is determined that the VA cannot provide specific, personalized medical services that are needed for care, a veteran may be deemed eligible to receive services from their community provider. With the individual’s express approval, VA medical staff will authorize and can schedule care from a community care provider through this extended network. This is provided on behalf of, and paid for, by the VA.

Family Integrative Medicine is one such local community provider, and it is our honor to serve our nation’s veterans. Through our partnership with the VA, our diverse and experienced team of experts can treat a variety of painful conditions that plague veterans, including:

  • PTSD
  • Knee pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Foot Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Migraines
  • Neuropathy
  • Lower back pain
  • Functional weakness
  • Painful arthritis

How to Use the VA Community Care Network

The VA is quick to refer to local community providers like Family Integrative Medicine when they are unable to provide care that targets a veteran’s specific needs. Here’s how that individual might receive a referral to their local medical provider.

First, the veteran must start by seeking care from the VA. Next, the VA will determine whether the veteran should receive care from a local community provider or travel to a VA facility, based on eligibility criteria. For example, the veteran must require a service that is not available at a VA medical facility or if a full-service VA location is not present where the veteran lives.

Additionally, if the wait time at the VA facility is more than 20 days for primary and mental health care or 28 days for specialty care, the individual will likely be referred to a local community provider. This is also true should the average drive times exceed 30 minutes for primary care or 60 minutes for a specialty provider. After all, veterans who urgently need to have their painful condition treated must be able to access care when it is needed.

Another eligibility requirement relates to the standard of care. If a VA medical service line does not meet certain quality standards, the VA may refer the veteran to another local medical group like Family Integrative Medicine. A great example is medical acupuncture for PTSD, with its vast advantages and ability to relieve conditions such as anxiety and depression for veterans.

After the VA has decided to refer to the VA Community Care Network for care, they will contact the veteran for approval before proceeding. Once the veteran agrees, the VA will engage the community provider regarding the referral and method of delivery. This includes a referral packet that shares the veteran’s medical record with the medical practice or clinic.

At Family Integrative Medicine in Central Florida, we carefully review this packet to learn more about our valued new patient. Our skilled team uses this information, along with intentional in-person conversations about health, to customize each veteran’s treatment plan. This ensures the highest standard of care is delivered in a timely fashion, helping each veteran recover better and achieve a good quality of life.

Family Integrative Medicine is honored to be a part of the VA’s high-performing Community Care Network. With four convenient office locations throughout Central Florida, our compassionate team is always ready to spring into action to ensure veterans and their beneficiaries receive exceptional medical care.

About Family Integrative Medicine

As a leader in person-centered care, Family Integrative Medicine serves patients in Central Florida who want to pursue faster and more effective healing for a variety of health conditions treated at our medical clinics, including medical acupuncture treatment for PTSD. To better understand how we can support your healthcare needs to improve your quality of life, give us a call at (407) 751-2192!

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