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VA Health – Emergency Care

Grab your scissors or take a screenshot, you might want to save this information. The VA may cover emergency medical care at a nonVA facility for Veterans. Before I explain the notification process and eligibility requirements, I need to stress a few points. First and foremost, if you are experiencing a medical emergency and believe your life or health is in danger, then call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room or department immediately. Per the VA website, “a medical emergency is an injury, illness or symptom so severe that a delay in seeking immediate medical treatment would be reasonably expected to be hazardous to life or health. During a medical emergency, VA encourages all Veterans to seek immediate medical attention.” Please go online for additional details about this benefit at www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/programs/veterans/Emergency_Care.asp

Eligible Veterans must notify the VA immediately, within 72 hours of the emergency treatment. The care provider, the Veteran, or a family member or friend can notify the VA’s Centralized Emergency Care Reporting Center. The notification results in a VA authorization for Community Care which is just what is sounds like, care in the community. Emergency care is one of the few exceptions where the VA does not require pre-authorization. The notification can be accomplished by calling 844-724-7842 or online through the VA Emergency Care Reporting portal at emergencycarereporting.communitycare.va.gov

VA Emergency Medical Care has eligibility requirements. In part, the following statements must be true. The Veteran must be enrolled in the VA health care system (refer to previous articles). A VA health care facility capable of providing emergency services must not be feasibly available. A prudent layperson (nonmedical professional) would reasonably expect a delay in immediate medical attention would be hazardous to life or health. A timely claim is made by notifying the VA immediately (72 hours of seeking emergency treatment).

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, then call 911 or go to the ER immediately. If you are a Veteran receiving emergency treatment, then notify the VA within 72 hours. If you are transferred to a different facility after notification, then notify the VA again to ensure emergency care coverage eligibility is met and continued. Report the emergency treatment by calling 844-724-7842 or by going online at emergencycarereporting.communitycare.va.gov

Brad Anderson is the Lake County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.834.8326, or cvso@co.lake.mn.us

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen.christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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