VA providing vets with digital tools to access healthcare info

The Department of Veterans Affairs has added a number of online resources to improve access to patient statements as well as compare the performance of VA medical facilities with non-VA facilities.

Through the agency’s AccessVA website, veterans receiving care for non-service related conditions can now view, download and print their patient statements electronically, using their secure information for DS Logon, ID.me or MyHealtheVet Premium.

While the VA will continue to mail veterans paper statements, online patient statements are available on AccessVA for as long as six months and include a summary of services received at any VA medical facility.

“VA is committed to leveraging technology to help veterans access their patient information quickly and conveniently,” says VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in a written statement. “We believe these advancements will help veterans manage their healthcare in more efficient ways.”

In addition to the VA’s new patient statement portal, the agency has announced that it has discontinued its star rating system, and the website home pages for all of its hospitals now have tools that make it easier for veterans to compare VA medical facilities with non-VA facilities in their local areas.

“Star ratings were developed as an internal tool meant to compare one VA facility to another,” observes Wilkie. “These ratings do not provide insight as to how our hospitals stack up against nearby non-VA facilities and are therefore of little value in helping veterans make informed healthcare decisions. This change will make it easier for veterans to choose the best possible care close to home, when and where they need it.”

Veterans are now able to access comparative information for VA medical facilities and non-VA facilities related to local wait times, quality of medical care and patient experience ratings. The data is derived from quality measures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Committee for Quality Assurance and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, among other sources.

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