Washington DC VA Medical Center
Health Care from Home
Tuesday, June 9, 2020Accessing VA Health Care During the Era of COVID-19
VA Encourages Veterans to Access VA Health Services from Home
Now more than ever, the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center is committed to providing quality health care while keeping Veterans and staff members safe from exposure to the coronavirus.
Nationwide, Veterans Affairs is beginning to expand health care services that were put on hold due to the coronavirus. Each medical center's efforts will align with federal, state and local guidance to support a safety culture that includes wearing a mask, following physical distancing, capacity and environmental cleaning recommendations outlined by the CDC. Not all facilities will expand to a full spectrum of care immediately.
To help minimize the risk of infection at the facility, Veterans can maximize the use of VA's online resources for routine or non-urgent primary and mental health care. This will help protect Veterans from contracting COVID-19 while enabling providers at the DC VA Medical Center to focus on care for those with the most acute needs.
"Due to COVID-19 precautionary measures, and concern for our local Veterans, we are honoring current physical distancing guidelines," said Michael Heimall, Medical Center Director. "While our facility is not expanding care at this time, we want to ensure Veterans know about their health care options. Telehealth and Virtual Care services have been a valuable link between Veterans and providers during this challenging time and will continue to provide Veterans with quality care from the safety and convenience of their homes," said Heimall.
VA offers Veterans a variety of at-home resources, including the following:
Telephone Appointments – DC VA Medical Center has telephone primary care appointments available. Eligible enrolled Veterans can call our Patient Service Center, 202-745-8000, option 2, to make a phone appointment for routine or non-urgent primary and mental health care with their VA Primary Care provider.
Video Appointments – Veterans may receive care at home via a video chat. VA Video Connect allows Veterans and their caregivers to quickly and easily meet with VA health care providers through live video on any computer, tablet, or mobile device with an internet connection. First-time users will need to discuss VA Video Connect with their provider to see if this option is right for them. To accomplish this, Veterans can send a message to their provider via a secure message on My HealtheVet by visiting myhealth.va.gov or call 202-745-8000, option 2. To learn more about VA Video Connect visit: mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect.
Prescription Refills and Safety – Veterans should continue taking all medications as prescribed and talk to their health providers if they have any concerns. Veterans may request prescription refills and order shipments of medications to their homes using My HealtheVet or the Rx Refill mobile app, which can be downloaded at mobile.va.gov/app/rx-refill.
Text Message Reminders – Veterans can use Annie’s Coronavirus Precautions protocol to receive automated text messages with information about COVID-19. This application helps Veterans monitor their symptoms and can assist those who need to contact their VA facility for care. Veterans may enroll in the app at mobile.va.gov/annie.
Mental Health Information and Resources – VA provides information on ways for Veterans and their families to maintain and enhance their mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak. Information about managing stress and anxiety, as well as mental health resources, are available at www.mentalhealth.va.gov/coronavirus/resources.
If you feel you are in crisis, please contact the Veterans Crisis Line, 1-800-273. 8255. You will be connected to a caring, qualified responder with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of whom are Veterans themselves.
To make an appointment with the DC VA Medical Center, please phone 202-745-8000, option 2 or select option 3 to speak with the nurse advice line.