|Sacred Heart Health System has announced a partnership to provide care through the Veterans Choice Program, giving veterans the choice to receive care at Sacred Heart locations throughout the region.|
PENSACOLA, Fla. (March 23, 2016) — Sacred Heart Health System has announced a partnership to provide care through the Veterans Choice Program, giving veterans the choice to receive care at Sacred Heart locations throughout the region.
As part of Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit healthcare system and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Sacred Heart joins Ascension facilities in 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 veterans care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
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 Sacred Heart doctors at 50 sites between Gulf Shores, Ala. and Apalachicola, Fla.
“No population is more vulnerable and more deserving of our compassion and support than our nation’s veterans,” said Susan Davis, president and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System. “The men and women in our community who have sacrificed so much for us deserve access to high quality health care. Working together, we have every confidence that our Veterans Choice public-private partnership will advance care for our military veterans.”
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, Sacred Heart physicians and other caregivers are authorized to provide primary care, inpatient and outpatient specialty care, and mental health for eligible veterans outside of VA.
Ascension has established a contractual agreement with TriWest Healthcare Alliance, a federal contractor to the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs. TriWest is 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 and use of the card is strictly voluntary. Veterans who qualify for VA healthcare can continue to receive care at a VA medical facility of their choice 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/. Persons interested in learning more about the Veterans Choice Program are encouraged to visit www.ascension.org/veterans.
About Sacred Heart Health System
Sacred Heart Health System is Northwest Florida’s leading provider of high-quality health care to children and adults. The hub of the Sacred Heart system is its 566-bed Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. The facilities in Pensacola include The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, a Level II Trauma Center, a Cancer Center affiliated with MD Anderson Cancer Network, a Heart & Vascular Institute, and the area’s only program specializing in maternal-fetal medicine. The Health System also includes Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, a 58-bed community hospital near Destin, Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf, a 19-bed hospital, in Port St. Joe, and Sacred Heart Medical Group, a large regional network of primary care and specialty physicians with offices across seven coastal counties between Gulf Shores, Ala. and Apalachicola, Fla. For more information, call 850-416-7000 or visit online at www.sacred-heart.org.
Sacred Heart is a member of Ascension (www.ascension.org), the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.
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.