Tuesday, Aug. 11 marked the beginning of community health care delivery to local veterans under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs contract awarded to TriWest Healthcare Alliance.
TriWest Healthcare Alliance, which has been managing the VA’s community care network in the area, transitioned to the new Community Care Network on Tuesday. VA community providers currently contracted by TriWest will not be automatically enrolled in CCN, so they will be required to sign a new contract with TriWest to continue providing services to veterans under CCN.
“The new Community Care Network contract awards reflect our ongoing commitment to increasing veterans’ access to care and were designed based on feedback from veterans and other stakeholders,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said.
“We are confident the new CCN contract will greatly improve care coordination for our veterans and ensure standardized processes are in place for our local community providers to deliver care and receive timely payment for their services,” said William J. Caron, director and CEO of the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System.
The VA’s new community care network is made up of six regions. Region 4, the one region aligned with TriWest, includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. The VA is deploying this new network in phases to ensure continuity-of-care coordination. Veterans will continue to receive care from their current community providers during the transition.
Veterans have been able to access care from non-VA providers since passage of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, which passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama. Among many other provisions, the law “expanded availability of hospital care and medical services for veterans through use of agreements with non-Department of Veterans Affairs entities,” such as TriWest.
The Community Care Network is the “VA’s direct link with community providers to ensure veterans receive timely, high-quality care,” according to the VA website.
The new network provides an industry-standard contract vehicle for the VA to purchase care. TriWest will manage the network and process claims for payment to local providers on behalf of the VA.
Unlike the previous contract, VASNHS will work directly with veterans to schedule all their medical appointments. “This will ensure our veterans have information on all available care options they are entitled to, so they can make better informed decisions on when and where to receive their care,” Caron said.