Veterans tip of the Week – Local VA Medical Facilities
You all know I am a big fan of the local Veteran Coffee socials that are popping up around our area (to find one near you: Veteran’s Coffee Social) . Well recently, at the coffee in Haverhill (0730-0930, every Thursday, at Battle Grounds Coffee Company) there was a lot of complaining about how hard it is, especially for older veterans, to get to VA medical appointments at the larger regional facilities in Jamaica Plain or Brockton, MA or Manchester, in NH. Transportation can be a real impediment to following through with needed care if you cannot drive, or can’t take the day off work.
In comparing notes, we realized there is a VA medical primary care facility right down the street, but no one had ever used it. I mentioned there is a VA medical facility at Pease Air National Guard Base, just outside of Portsmouth, NH. Several others mentioned facilities they knew about. Well, there are several different levels of VA facility, and not every facility will have every service, but in MA alone, there are over 2 dozen outpatient clinics in local communities spread across the state. In NH, there are over a dozen. For routine care, rather than going to one of regional medical centers, you can consider using one of the community based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) – they are very much like your local doctor’s office and can provide most of what we all need day to day.
In a nutshell, the veteran enrolls in VA medical, designates a preferred facility to receive services (this can be changed), and if the preferred facility does not offer a specific needed service, the patient is referred out to a facility that offers the needed service or to a local community provider. Here is an overview: https://www.vets.gov/…/about-va-health-…/where-you-get-care/
To find the VA facilities nearest you, in your home state, us the VA own facility locator: https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/allstate.asp
This can help you find a VA medical facility based on distance from your zip code: https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp
As always, please feel free to PM me if you have questions regarding your VA Benefits. If I don’t know the answer, we will find it together. #gogetrated
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