VA tests partnership with CVS to reduce veterans' wait times

VA tests partnership with CVS to reduce veterans' wait times”

The Phoenix pilot program is a test-run by VA Secretary David Shulkin. "This allows Veterans to see how VA is performing".

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today a new initiative between the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS), TriWest Healthcare Alliance, and MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), that will expand access to high quality and convenient health care services for Veterans in Phoenix and surrounding communities. Services will be covered by their VA insurance. They cited the feedback of local veterans and the success of a smaller test run with CVS past year in Palo Alto, Calif.

The VA has launched an online Access and Quality Tool providing patient wait time and quality of care data, which the department is calling "the most transparent and easy to understand wait time and quality data website in the health-care industry".

"By allowing our electronic health records to communicate and share important clinical information, we'll have a more comprehensive view of the Veterans we collectively serve, which will enable important health care decision making and ensure continuity of care", said Andrew Sussman, MD, Executive Vice President and Associate Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health and President, MinuteClinic. "We believe in the MinuteClinic model of care and are excited to offer our health care services as one potential solution for the Phoenix VA Health Care System and its patients", he said.

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Veterans in Phoenix will benefit from the same data exchange capabilities, and may have a great deal to gain from alternative care choices in the region. The new initiative is timely given that VA has on several occasions been alleged of having chronically long wait times.

McCain argues that veterans should be allowed to visit community health centers for timely attendance.

This sentiment is echoed by TriWest, one of VA's partners in administering the Veterans Choice Program.

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