VA will begin sharing veterans health information with non-VA physicians

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The Department of Veterans Affairs informs veterans who receive their medical care at VA health facilities that the VA will soon begin sharing this health information with physicians they may consult outside of the VA, without notifying them at the time. prior.

VA sends letters to veterans’ homes to inform them of the change. Under the VA Mission Act 2018, the department works to ensure that VA physicians and non-VA medical providers can access a veteran’s health care information in order to process it.

Veterans are currently opting for the VA Health Records Sharing Agreement. But with the change, they’ll have to opt out, using a VA Form 10-10164, which they can download from the VA website and mail or fill out to the VA facility’s information dissemination service where they receive it. care.

“The Mission Act gives veterans better access to care, whether at VA facilities or in the community,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a press release. “We provide transparent access to care, improve efficiency and help ensure that veterans get the care they need, where and when they need it. “

The Veterans Health Information Exchange will give providers access to lab results, medications, medical history and illnesses, allergies, and occupational health information for veterans who are also VA employees.

“This electronic exchange of information improves patient safety – especially during emergencies – and enables better coordination of care for ex-combatants receiving care in the community,” the statement said.

Veterans should receive notification of the change in a letter from VA. In the letter, VA promises that it will not sell any veterans health information and will only share information with community health providers and “organizations that have partnership agreements with VA and are part of the trusted network.” VA approved ”.

Also according to the letter, those who are enrolled in VA health care or are eligible to enroll were to receive the notice, but others may have received it as well.

“You may have received this notice even though you are not eligible for VA health care benefits,” the letter said.

The Mission Act consolidated VA’s many community care programs and gave veterans access to a network of non-VA emergency care facilities for acute or elective illnesses.

According to VA regulations issued after the expansion of the Mission Act, veterans who live more than 30 minutes from a VA medical center or clinic or who have to wait 20 days or more for appointments primary care providers are eligible to seek care in the community.

About one-third of all medical appointments for veterans enrolled in VA Health Care take place at non-VA facilities. According to VA, that figure has remained stable over the past few years.

VA will begin file sharing in January 2020. Veterans who previously restricted information shared by VA using a restriction request form, VA form 10-0525, will need to complete the new form if they wish to opt out completely.

Other people who have already unsubscribed do not need to resubmit a form.

Patricia Kime is a senior writer covering military and veteran health, medical and personnel issues.


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