As you and your family make plans for a new life after active duty, think about your Veteran's health care options. Read on and unravel some myths you may have heard about VA health care.
1. Myth - A government-run health system can’t be as good as private health care.
Fact - By all standards - quality care, patient safety, and low rates of infection and medication error -VA tops the pack. VA outperforms community hospitals in managing patients with diabetes, hypertension, pneumonia, and heart failure. Over twenty years ago, VA innovated electronic health records. These records, which include reminders and performance standards, transitioned VA to a world leader in health care. For more information check www.hospitalcompare.va.gov
2. Myth - Electronic Health Records (EHR) aren’t secure.
Fact - They’re significantly more secure than paper records. And, because paper records can be misplaced, tampered with, damaged or destroyed, Electronic Health Records are a better bet. They’re also accessible 24/7 to your health care provider and a delegated family member, if you wish. Take the example of Hurricane Katrina. Elderly Veterans residing at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, MS were evacuated to Washington, DC immediately following the storm. Many arrived without medications, disoriented and in weakened conditions. Thanks to EHR, the DC VA Medical Center provided care and medications to all enrolled Veterans within hours.
3. Myth - If I’m not sick, I don’t need VA. You just offer hospital care.
Fact - VA has 152 hospitals nationwide and over one-thousand clinics providing primary care. It’s a health care system in the wellness business. Since VA provides health care for life, prevention of disease is a priority. You can get regular check-ups at clinics close to your home. The best time to use VA care is before you become ill, because we’re great at helping Veterans maintain optimum health. At the Washington, DC VA Medical Center over 80% of Veterans enrolled have blood pressures, cholesterol and glucose levels in the normal range.
4. Myth - VA doesn’t offer health care to women.
Fact - Over three-hundred thousand women Veterans receive care from VA and most health care facilities have dedicated Women Veterans Program Managers and clinics. Women are the fastest growing segment of Veterans VA serves.
5. Myth -The media report Veterans aren’t satisfied with VA health care.
Fact - Independent customer satisfaction surveys rank VA facilities among the highest in the U.S. VA makes great efforts to be responsive to Veterans’ concerns and needs. We specialize in the unique needs of Veterans.
6. Myth - VA clinicians aren’t as professional and experienced.
Fact - Most VA clinicians are published, award-winning scholars, researchers and teachers. In fact, the majority of doctors in U.S. private practice have been trained at a VA hospital supervised by VA doctors.
7. Myth - VA doesn’t offer state-of-the-art equipment and alternative medicine?
Fact - VA hospitals have the most advanced technology and equipment. And, if you want to explore alternative offerings, VA’s holistic approach to medicine includes yoga, massage, acupuncture, equine therapy, and pet therapy.
Get to know your local VA. Visit www.washingtondc.va.gov