WARREN, Mich., March 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ascension Michigan today announced a partnership to provide care through the Veterans Choice Program, giving veterans the choice to receive care at Ascension Michigan locations throughout the state. As part of Ascension, the nation's largest nonprofit healthcare system and the world's largest Catholic health system, Ascension Michigan joins 23 other states and the District of Columbia in sustaining and improving the health of individuals and our communities by serving as an official provider of Veteran Care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Now qualified U.S. veterans who face wait times in excess of 30 days at the VA or have to travel farther than 40 miles from their home can receive care from Ascension Michigan doctors at hundreds of sites of care statewide.
"Ascension Michigan is proud to be able to offer high quality, compassionate, personalized care to eligible veterans in Michigan through our participation in the Veterans Choice program," Gwen MacKenzie, Senior Vice President, Ascension Health, Michigan Market Executive. "As I have talked with Ascension Michigan associates and physicians about the program, I have been struck by how many of us have family members or close friends who are veterans, including my Dad who served. This connection has made this program very personal for us."
The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 established funding to pay for healthcare services provided to veterans by private healthcare providers. Through the partnership, Ascension Michigan physicians and other caregivers are authorized to provide primary care, inpatient and outpatient specialty care, and mental health care for eligible veterans outside of VA.
Ascension has established a contractual agreement with TriWest Healthcare Alliance and national provider registration with Health Net Federal Services, LLC — both are federal contractors to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As Veterans Choice Program contractors, TriWest and Health Net are designated by VA to implement the Veterans Choice Program and provide eligible veterans access to care in their community when the local VA facility cannot readily provide care.
Nearly 9 million veterans received the Veterans Choice Card. Use of the card is strictly voluntary; veterans who qualify for VA healthcare can continue to receive care at a VA medical facility as they have in the past. The program will end when the allocated funds of $10 billion are used or no later than August 7, 2017.
Veterans can determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program at http://www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/ or by calling the number on their Choice Card, 1-866-606-8198. They can also contact the Ascension National Veterans Call Center at 1-844-623-3003, for more information about Ascension and the care we provide or for assistance scheduling an appointment with a local Ascension provider who is participating in the Veterans Choice Program
U.S. veterans, St. John Providence patients and caregivers who are interested in learning more about the Veterans Choice Program are encouraged to visit www.ascension.org/veterans.
About Ascension Michigan
Ascension Michigan includes Borgess Health in Kalamazoo, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester, Genesys Health System in Grand Blanc, St. John Providence in Metro Detroit, St. Joseph Health System in Tawas, and St. Mary's of Michigan in Saginaw and Standish. Together, the health systems employ more than 25,000 associates and are a major economic driver in the state, with $1.4 billion in payroll each year. In fiscal year 2014, Ascension Michigan provided more than $263 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty.
Ascension (www.ascension.org) is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 160,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers serve in 2,000 sites of care – including 137 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension's own group purchasing organization.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ascension-michigan-sites-of-care-now-veteran-providers-outside-va-300241875.html
SOURCE Ascension Michigan