August 14, 2014, WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that primary care has been added to the services available to Veterans through VA’s Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) contracts, a key and evolving part of the non-VA medical care program. Eligible Veterans are already able to access inpatient specialty care, outpatient specialty care, mental health care, limited emergency care and limited newborn care for female Veterans following childbirth under PC3.
“With the addition of primary care services, VA Medical Centers can now use PC3 to provide additional types of care in order to reduce wait times,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “This modification is another example of how we are working to ensure Veterans get the care they need, when they need it and where they want to be seen.”
This modification supports VA’s Accelerated Care Initiative, helping to move Veterans off of waitlists and into care. Additionally, reduced commuting standards will require that contracted providers schedule appointments closer to the Veterans’ homes.
The initial PC3 contracts were awarded in September 2013 to Tri-West and HealthNet and have been used as part of the non-VA medical care program to purchase care in the community.
“PC3 is part of the overall non-VA medical care program,” said Dr. Carolyn A. Clancy, VA’s Interim Under Secretary for Health. “We look forward to expanding our ability to provide timely access to health care services to our Veterans.”
VA Medical Centers have the ability to purchase non-VA medical care for Veterans through contracted medical providers when they cannot readily provide the needed care due to geographic inaccessibility or limited capacity. This additional option is available to purchase non-VA medical care when required Veteran care services are unavailable within the VA medical facility, or when Veterans benefit from receiving the needed care nearer to their homes. In addition, VA is reviewing how PC3 may be used to help implement the newly enacted Veterans Choice, Access, and Accountability Act of 2014.
Through PC3, Veterans can expect to receive high-quality health care that is coordinated with their VA providers. For more information on PC3, visit http://www.nonvacare.va.gov/PC3/index.asp.