Supporting Our Veterans
NACHC is committed to supporting health centers serving veterans in their communities. Since 2013, NACHC has worked with health centers on a range of topics including veteran employment, increasing access to care for veterans and military family members, and establishing partnerships with veteran-focused organizations in local communities. Following are several tools and resources to assist health centers with their veteran-focused programs and initiatives.
VA CHOICE to MISSION
As of June 6, the VA began implementing portions of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (MISSION Act), which both ends the Veterans Choice Program and establishes a new Veterans Community Care Program. Read the note explaining the MISSION Act from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie.
Did you miss the Veterans Community Care Webinar? Access the slides below!
Need to contact the Third Party Administrators?
VA Medical-Legal Partnership Readiness Guide (June 2019)
Fact Sheet Update: Providing Care for Veterans in Community Health Centers (January 2019)
Veterans Choice/Mission Act Toolkit (March 2019)
NACHC’s Comment on VA’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Community Care (March 2019)
Memorial Day Statement from NACHC President and CEO Tom Van Coverden (May 2018)
VA Revises Policy for Emergency Treatment Payment (March 2018)
VA Launches Online Resource for Community Care Providers (March 2018)
Serving the Oral Health Needs of Our Nation’s Military Heroes (January 2018)
Veterans Benefits Outreach Materials
Resources for Hiring Veterans
Veterans bring a unique skill set, valuable work experience and a demonstrated commitment to public service. Community Health Centers not only serve veterans; they are also working hard to recruit and hire veterans as part of a national initiative NACHC launched more than three years ago. To date, that effort has resulted in more than 8,000 veterans being hired at health centers around the country.
Learn more about hiring veterans at Community Health Centers:
Veteran Hiring Toolkit
Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Case Studies and Recommendations
Press Release: NACHC and U.S. Army Forge Partnership to Recruit More Veterans
The Rural Monitor: Veterans in Healthcare Careers (Oct 2017)
Resources for Serving Veterans in the Community
The Choice Act
The number of veterans seeking care at Community Health Centers has grown dramatically over the past several years, with the number of veterans served by health centers increasing by more than 55% from 2008 to 2016. This change is due in part to the passage of the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act in 2014, which allows eligible veterans to receive health care in their communities rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.
The Choice Act allows health centers to expand their outreach and engagement with veterans in their communities while at the same time receiving a reasonable level of reimbursement for services provided. Now, more than 700 health centers with more than 1,670 locations and more than 6,700 clinicians have signed up to become Choice providers. In 2016, 9 out of 10 health centers around the country served over 330,000 veterans.
With support from the Health Resources and Services Administration, NACHC has created numerous targeted educational resources, conference presentations, webinars, and tools that have reached dozens of Primary Care Associations (PCAs) and hundreds of rural and urban health centers across the country.
Learn more about the Veterans Choice Program and Community Health Centers’ efforts to expand service for veterans:
Make the Connection
Make the Connection is a publicly available, free website that features more than 600 videos of Veterans and their loved ones speaking about their experiences with mental health and everyday life during and after service. These stories show those who are facing challenges that treatment works, recovery is possible, and they are not alone. MakeTheConnection.net also features information pages and resources for challenging life experiences and mental health signs, symptoms, and conditions. Visit Make the Connection for more information.
Over the past several years, NACHC has supported the development of partnerships between health centers, the VA, graduate medical education programs, VA’s Third Party Administrators, Veteran Service Organizations, and other service providers. These partnerships have helped veterans access high quality care in their communities more easily. These efforts have resulted in fact sheets, webinars, and success stories, which NACHC has used to educate health centers about best practices for successful partnership building.
Partnership areas include:
NACHC has worked to support partnerships that encourage outreach to underserved veteran populations and inform veterans about the care options available to them in order to improve health care outcomes.
NACHC has helped health centers around the country as they develop direct relationships with their local VA facilities. These partnerships streamline the process for veterans interested in accessing community care, especially in remote communities or in communities near VA facilities with longer wait times.
Graduate Medical Education
NACHC has worked to support health centers interested in establishing educational affiliation agreements with the VA to support Graduate Medical Education. These partnerships enable enhanced patient care, education, and research in underserved communities, and encourage qualified providers to settle in underserved communities after their education finishes.
Learn more about partnerships to support veterans:
Health Center and Veterans Partnership Fact Sheet (August 2017)*
Veteran Resources, Data and Maps
There is a significant amount of publicly available information health centers can use to start getting smart about the needs of their local veteran population.
Health centers can also find out more about how to serve veterans in their community by reaching out directly to their local VA facilities and and local military installations:
For more information about NACHC’s efforts to support veterans or to join our mailing list contact Dick Bohrer at 301/347-0400.
*This project was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under cooperative agreement number U30CS16089, Technical Assistance to Community and Migrant Health Centers and Homeless for $6,375,000.00. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.