Five Reasons to be Thankful for our Veterans
Veterans serve our country with valor during war and peace. We have more veterans from more battles alive today than in any other point in American history.
1. Veterans sacrificed their health to protect us. 19.6 million Vets alive today are eligible for health care benefits today. There are 12.4 million veterans (http://www.benefits.va.gov/persona/veteran-elderly.asp)
sixty-five and older living today. Meaning we have our former hero’s living in long term care facilities and some living on the streets numbering 50,000 homeless vets (http://www.benefits.va.gov/persona/veteran-elderly.asp). By the numbers that means the USA has 6.6 million vets under the age of 65 now eligible for veteran services. Most alarming is the high suicide rate of female veterans 29% and male vets 32% (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-female-veteran-suicide-20150608-story.html ). According to the RAND Corporation, 50% of all vets with post traumatic disorder do not seek treatment (http://www.veteransandptsd.com/PTSD-statistics.html ).
2. The Veterans Administration is Overwhelmed There is an urgent need for veteran outreach and engagement to protect those who protected us. Too many Veterans wait over 90 days for an initial medical evaluation. Over one million vet disability claims in the pipeline with one third backlogged over three months making them ineligible for needed services. The USA Congress stepped in creating more oversight and management even allowing veterans to seek care outside the VA system.
3. Government oversight does not mean better care today Too many veterans cannot schedule appointments in the system we have today. Despite Congress’s best efforts to increase veterans timely access to care the issue of well-coordinated effective care remains elusive to most vets. The VA’s antiquated medical records system has stymied effective treatment by restricting access to previous health records. Many vets today cannot collect all their active duty and post discharge records when seeking care today even using the Blue Button service for collecting medical records. The VA recently announced a major overhaul of their services awarding Cerner one of the largest enterprise data systems (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cerner-wins-dod-contract-to-overhaul-electronic-health-records/2015/07/29/7fbfccfa-35f5-11e5-b673-1df005a0fb28_story.html)
4. VA solution that puts the Veteran First Now As laudable as the revamping the information system maybe, this does not address the urgent needs of our vets. The VA system contain an impressive array of community based service including outpatient treatment, transportation, mental health services and rehabilitation. In fact the VA has an impressive paid family caregiver program to employ family members to provide home based nursing care to critically, many with traumatic brain injuries, vets.
5. REUNIONCare is here for our VetsWe are changing the way we care for each other one Veteran at a time. We build a personalized Circle of Care around each vet based upon their needs and resources. Most importantly, we connect our vets directly to their home VA directly into the Echelon VI community clinic managing their care. We give each veteran and their caregivers an active role in their care. Coordination of care at a level not yet experienced in the Veteran Administration system. To learn more visit us at www.reunioncare.com