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Seton Adopts Veterans Choice Standards

Veterans Choice OfficeVeterans Now Have More Options to Access Health Care

Seton Healthcare Family will participate in the Veterans Choice Program, giving veterans in its service area more options to receive high-quality health care.

As part of Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit health care system and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Seton joins more than 2,000 Ascension sites of care in 24 states and the District of Columbia in sustaining and improving the health of individuals and communities by serving as an official provider of veteran care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Now, qualified U.S. veterans who face wait times in excess of 30 days at the VA or have to travel farther than 40 miles from their homes can receive care from Seton doctors at more than 100 clinical sites in an 11-county service area. Other qualifying factors may apply.

“We are honored to serve those who have given time and more in service to our country,” said Jesύs Garza, president and chief executive officer of Seton Healthcare Family and senior vice president of Ascension Health-Texas Ministry Market Executive, which includes the Providence Healthcare Network in Waco. “Right now, no population is more vulnerable and more deserving of our compassion than many of our nation’s veterans.”

Seton, a long-time provider for veterans, has adopted Veterans Choice access standards:

  • Primary and specialty care appointments must be made within 20 days.
  • Urgent care appointments must be made within 48 hours.
  • Office wait times for appointments must last 20 minutes or less.

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 established funding to pay for health care services given to veterans by private providers. Through the partnership, Seton physicians and other caregivers may be authorized to provide primary care, inpatient and outpatient specialty care, and mental health care for eligible veterans outside of VA.

In Texas, Ascension has established a contractual agreement with TriWest Healthcare Alliance, a federal contractor to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As a Veterans Choice Program contractor, TriWest is designated by the VA to implement the Veterans Choice Program and provide eligible veterans access to care in their community when the local VA facility cannot readily do so.

Nearly 9 million veterans received the Veterans Choice Card. Using the card is strictly voluntary; veterans who qualify for VA health care can continue receiving care at a VA medical facility as they have in the past. The program will end when allocated funds of $10 billion are used, or no later than August 7, 2017.

Veterans can determine if they’re eligible for the Veterans Choice Program at http://www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/ or by calling 1-866-606-8198.

U.S. veterans, Seton patients and caregivers interested in learning more about the Veterans Choice Program can visit www.ascension.org/veterans.