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2.8. Coordinated Care for Traveling Veterans
Coordinated Care for Traveling Veterans
The VA in 2015 has initiated a traveling Veterans program. Traveling Veterans are Veterans who are enrolled in the VA Healthcare System and plan to spend extensive time away from their primary residence and preferred VA facility near their home.
Traveling Veteran Categories:
- Veterans planning on traveling seasonally to a location away from their primary residence.
- Veterans planning an extended trip away from their primary residence or preferred VA facility.
- Veterans while on extended travel from home, will need continuation of their medical care, medication refills, or prosthetic equipment.
- Veterans who plan to seek medical care from a different VA facility away from their primary residence or preferred VA facility while traveling.
The VA medical facility closest to the Veteran's primary residence is called the Veteran's preferred facility. The VA facility away from the Veteran's home is known as the Veteran's alternate VA facility. The reason for the alternate facility is either due to extended time that the Veteran will be away from their primary residence or from complex clininical needs that are only provided by specific VA Medical Facilities. An example of such a scenario would be a Veteran living in Philadelphia, PA who is enrolled in the Philadelphia, PA VA medical center. The Philadelphia VA medical center would be the Veteran's preferred VA facility. The Philadelphia Veteran spends 6 months a year in Florida. The Tampa, Florida VA medical center would be the Philadelphia Veteran's alternate VA facility for the 6 months that the Veteran is visiting Tampa, Florida.
The program is implemented via the Traveling Veteran Coordinators (TVC) located at VA Medical Centers. The Traveling Coordinators replace the Referral Case Managers. TVC' must be a Registered Nurse, Physician Assistant, or Licensed Independent Practitioner.
The process begins when the Veteran notifies their Primary Care Practitioner (PCP) or the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) of the Veteran's travel plans. It is important to give as much advance notice of your departure date as possible. The PCP or PACT will send a referral to the TVC. The TVC will arrange for VA medical services at your alternate VA medical facility.
It is vital that you make sure that your TVC has the correct temporary address and telephone number(s) so that your medication refills can be sent to your temporary address. Always stay in touch with your traveling coordinator. Make sure that your TVC is aware of your return date to your preferred or home VA medical facility. Contact your TVC for unanticipated health care needs that arise while you are away, prosthetic device issues, medication issues, or other problems while you are away.
Traveling Veterans will not be assigned to a PACT, Patient Aligned Care Team, at the alternate VA medical facility. Veterans at their home or preferred VA medical facility who have multi-PACT assignments or dual assignments might not be considered for the traveling Veteran program. Clinical assessment and approval of muti-PACT assignments for the Veteran is required for the traveling program. Exceptions to the one PACT rule for the traveling program are:
- Veterans with spinal cord injury and disorders (SCI&D) who are receiving highly complex care at two VA facilities of SCI&D, or
- If the Veteran requires complex primary care management and receives care between two VA facilities of residence (example: south in winter and north in summer).