Over 100 VA Hospitals Reinstate In-Person Services
Aug 12, 2020
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 12, 2020 – After several months of limited operations, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) announced that over 100 VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) reinstated in-person services. Shortly after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the VA and VHA changed their operating procedures and began limiting in-person services at VAMCs across the United States. The VAMC created two “zones” for inpatient care, standard and COVID-19, and ceased the majority of outpatient operations, opting instead for telehealth services.
The VA and VHA changed their procedures and designed a 4-phase approach to protect Veterans and staff from contracting COVID-19. The strategy included contingency planning and training, initial response, establishing alternate sites of care, and sustainment and recovery. It was designed to minimize infection rates by conducting daily reviews of community infection rates, support an increasing need for COVID-19 healthcare services, and provide Veterans with consistent care. This continued review led to the decision to reinstate services in communities where it is safe to do so.
During Phase 1, the VHA updated their plans, procedures and techniques to protect Veterans and staff. This phase included shifting priorities, resources, and physically separating COVID-19 patients from the rest of the hospital population. Phase 2 included ensuring that VAMCs were prepared to engage in reporting procedures, receive and triage suspected COVID-19 cases, provide acute and outpatient care for veterans, and maintain telehealth services. Phase 3 involved organizing with community partners in cases where the VHA could not meet the pandemic’s demands.
Finally, Phase 4 begins when public health officials announce that the pandemic is waning, and clinical operations are stabilizing. VAMCs that have reached this phase are those included in the phased re-openings. This phase is only applicable in situations where the facility can meet and maintain long-term responses. VAMCs, in this phase, must maintain and provide Veterans with the highest standard of care.
The VAMC continues to increase telehealth services to limit the risk of exposure to staff and Veterans. However, they understand the need to provide in-person care to Veterans who have a great need for clinical services. Although in-person services have been reinstated, the VAMCs encourage patients to utilize telehealth options for the safety of everyone involved.
Tampa Bay Veterans Attorney, David W. Magann explains that Veterans often face difficulties when trying to receive care at VAMCs and benefits through the VA. Additionally, the process is complicated, burdensome, and requires a thorough understanding of veterans’ disability laws. Attorney Magann reminds Veterans of the importance of working with an attorney who has extensive experience overcoming these challenges and successfully recovering benefits on behalf of veterans suffering from disabilities.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618
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