Chapter 6 Coordination of Care

How Does VA Coordinate Care for Veterans Who are Traveling or Living at a Temporary Address?

Generally, the VA Primary Care Team is responsible for care for Veterans traveling or temporarily experiencing a change of address — such as living in one state during the winter and another during summer. Any VA provider seen while traveling will share information and coordinate treatment options with the Primary Care Team.

Coordination of Care with Providers Outside the VA Network (Co-managed/Dual Care)

We strongly encourage enrolled Veterans to receive all their health care through VA. However, if private doctors continue to provide treatment, VA will work with them to meet health care needs and coordinate effective treatment.

We call this Co-managed Care or Dual Care, which means that the VA and private doctors will work together to provide safe, appropriate, and ethical medical care.

VA’s Primary Care Team is responsible for managing all aspects of care and services available through the VA system. Under no circumstances can the VA provider simply re-write prescriptions, or order diagnostic tests from an outside provider, without first making a professional assessment that a particular test or drug prescription is medically appropriate. If the VA provider does not follow the recommendations of a private provider, she or he will communicate the reasons for such decisions and may offer alternative treatment recommendations.

Coordination of Care Among VA Facilities

Veterans may receive medical attention in a variety of VA settings — clinic, hospital, emergency room, Community Living Center (formerly known as VA nursing home), or their own residence. Care will be provided by professionals who offer diverse specialized treatments and services. In order to manage the different aspects of care effectively, the Primary Care Team will use VA’s electronic medical record system to ensure the coordination of care.

Specialized Outpatient Care Not Offered at the Local Health Care Facility

If required care is not offered at the local health care facility, the Primary Care Team can arrange care at other VA health care facilities or in the community, as appropriate. Generally, the Primary Care Provider will coordinate the care at both location.

Disagreements Between VA Providers and Private Providers

VA will work to ensure that health care needs and preferences are met, and that there is an understanding of all available options. VA providers have the final say about how VA will meet your health care needs, including whether or not to order tests or write prescriptions.