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James Hallenbeck, MD Associate Chief of Staff, Extended Care, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Associate Professor, Stanford University

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Presentation on theme: "James Hallenbeck, MD Associate Chief of Staff, Extended Care, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Associate Professor, Stanford University"— Presentation transcript:

1 James Hallenbeck, MD Associate Chief of Staff, Extended Care, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Associate Professor, Stanford University

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5 California Veterans 2.2 Million (6%) of California population Of these… 94% men, 6 % women 35% of veterans are > age 65 (10.6 % overall pop. > 65) 21% of Californians > 65 are veterans > 60% of Californian men > 65 are veterans

6 Think of the VA when… A veteran tells you that he/she is enrolled at a particular VA facility Funding difficulties – ineligible for Medicare, MediCal and no private insurance Military/Veteran-related issues arise

7 Think of the VA when… Special clinical needs – Related to military service – Mental Health issues/PTSD – Needs adjunctive care to stay at home – Homelessness – Blind Concern about benefits

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9 VA Facilities Have discrete catchment areas Associated Clinics (Community Based Outpatient Clinics – CBOCs) Veterans enrolled at a particular facility Encouraged to have primary care provider VA Medical Centers function much like a managed care organization like Kaiser.

10 Eligibility Prioritization of veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities Differing eligibility standards for Outpatient/Home/Acute care and Nursing Home Care Outpatient/acute: basic eligibility Long Term Nursing Home: highly SC only

11 Is VA Care a Form of Insurance? Yes and No Yes: for enrolled veterans receiving VA through VA (like Kaiser) Yes: for some care for highly service-connected veterans outside VA (acute care hospitalizations) No: For most other types of care outside the VA

12 Example: Hospice Care VA Hospice Benefit – mimics Medicare Especially useful for veterans <65 without Medicare For enrolled veterans as ordered by a VA provider Not intended for un-enrolled veterans calling a VA facility to get them to cover care

13 Home Care Services Home-based Primary Care (HBPC) Homebound, VA primary care provided at home, geographically restricted areas Homemaker/Home Health Care (H/HHA) Very similar to IHSS Purchased from community agencies Contract Adult Day Care (CADHC) Note: VA largely blind to parallel services, such as IHSS

14 Home Care Services Purchased Home Care Skilled nursing care at home (like Medicare Home Care) Hospice Care (similar to Medicare) Spinal Cord Home Care (by VA providers) Emerging programs: Medical Foster Home program Veteran Directed Care Unlike Medicare, all purchased VA home care prospectively authorized

15 Nursing Home Care VA Nursing Homes (Community Living Centers, CLCs) Short-stay rehab/post hospital Long term care for highly 60% + SC veterans Community Nursing Home (CNH) program

16 Challenges Two-way lack of knowledge Community organizations do not understand VA Many VA providers equally ignorant of community resources Common complaint about VA – dont know who to talk with/ poor contact information.

17 The Great Myth Care of veterans the sole responsibility of the VA Reality: only 26% of veterans cared for by VA in any given year Many of these veterans receive only some of their care through VA Given this, optimal care for veterans requires collaboration between VA and community organizations

18 Suggestions Incorporate routine inquiry regarding veteran status into assessments Assess enrollment status, service-connection If enrolled – which VAMC Become familiar with unique VA services and where VA can plug holes

19 Special VA Services Some Home Care Services Spinal Cord Injury Mental Health Services PTSD, Substance abuse Care for Homeless Veterans (residential programs, HUD/VASH (voucher) program Hospice/palliative care Blind rehabilitation programs

20 Cultivate Your Contacts at Local VAMCs! Admissions and Eligibility Caregiver Support Program Home Care Geriatrics and Extended Care Homeless Veteran Program Coordinators Patient Advocate Veteran Service Officers ADRC points of contact Note: Quality of facility websites- variable. When in doubt, call program offices

21 Summary VA provides excellent healthcare – with some benefits not readily available through the community Navigating the VA labyrinth can be challenging It is all about relationships and communication Together, we can do a better job serving those who have served!


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