Critter Corner: VA Launches New Health Care Website and Other Resources

Dear Oakley,

My father is a Veteran, and I am his caregiver. I help make appointments for his health care and could certainly use information about what’s out there to help him. The VA website is so cumbersome with so much information. How can I find everything I need when there is so much out there?

Thanks for your help!

Rhee Sorsis

Dear Rhee,

You’re in luck! The VA recently launched an improved Access to Care website for Veterans and their caregivers.

Accesstocare.va.gov has been updated with more information that’s easier to access and understand. The site offers updated information and a more streamlined search process that makes it easier for Veterans and their caregivers to plan their health care visits and access information.

Here are some of the things you can find on their new website:

  • Average wait times calculations updated: The VA updated the way it calculates average wait times to make them more accurate. The new calculation uses averages from recently scheduled appointments — including those that have been completed and those scheduled and yet to occur in the future — and measures wait times in a way that makes more sense to Veterans’ experience.
  • Expanded mental health care services and specialties, including Individual and Group Therapy, General Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder programs, Primary Care-Mental Health Integrated Care, and PTSD Specific programs are available on the new website.

These updates ensure Veterans and their caregivers will have online access to information and wait times at their local facilities and facilities across the country.

Additional information about health care for Veterans can be found using these helpful resources:

  • Mental health services: Find out how to access VA mental health services for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological effects of military sexual trauma (MST), depression, grief, anxiety, and other needs.
  • Specific health needs and conditions: Find out how to get care for specific needs (for example, women’s health), and learn about service-related health concerns you should be aware of (for example, Agent Orange-related diseases and Camp Lejeune water contamination).
  • Chemical or hazardous material exposure: Learn about health concerns linked to exposures during military service. Learn about the special VA health registries you can join that document Veterans’ exposure to Agent Orange, depleted uranium, ionizing radiation, airborne hazards, and other hazardous materials. To learn more about the new PACT Act, please read today’s Ask the Expert article.
  • Veterans programs for health and wellness: Explore VA programs to help you get and stay healthy in both body and mind.
  • Community care: If you’re enrolled in VA health care, find out how you may be able to receive care from a provider in your local community through community care.
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and your VA health care coverage: Find out what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act and what it means for Veterans.
  • The Million Veteran Program: See if you can be a part of this voluntary research study to better understand the role genes play in our health.
  • Access and quality in VA health care: Get information about your VA facility, like how quickly you can be seen and what other Veterans say about their experiences.

Hope this is helpful,

Oakley

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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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