VAGLAHS Increases Access to Care - VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
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VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

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VAGLAHS Increases Access to Care

May 31, 2018


VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Press Release header. Office of Public Affairs Media Relations (310) 268-3340

VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Increases Access to Care

VAGLAHS and partners roll out Urgent Care Options for Veterans

LOS ANGELES – Veterans enrolled in the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) may contact the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 22 Telephone Advice Nurse Call Line at (877) 252-4866 for an evaluation from a triage nurse and, when appropriate, referral to an urgent care center in the community. Veterans must call the nurse line for pre-authorization before for each visit.

“Veterans in southern Ventura County, north Los Angeles County, and northeastern Kern County can now participate in the new initiative. We are proud to extend urgent care services in these regions,” said Ann Brown, director at VAGLAHS. When clinically appropriate, VA triage nurses from the VISN 22 Telephone Advice Nurse Call Line can refer Veterans to certain urgent care centers, through the Veterans Choice Program, for the treatment of particular urgent care illnesses and injuries.

Veterans may be referred to community urgent care centers for treatment of common minor illnesses, such as strep throat; ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; and heartburn and indigestion. Additionally, minor wounds, abrasions, skin conditions, sprains and strains may also be treated. VAGLAHS Community-Based Outpatient Clinics and Ambulatory Care Centers in Ventura, Los Angeles and Kern Counties still provide walk-in urgent care services during regular business hours, as well as primary care, specialty care, and mental health care. This partnership with urgent care centers in the community is meant to provide after-hours and weekend urgent care services.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Community Care, VAGLAHS, along with TriWest Healthcare Alliance, and California community care providers located in Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, and Ridgecrest have forged a partnership to increase Veteran access to urgent care closer to their homes. This is an extension to the ongoing pilot in the Palmdale, Lancaster, and Bakersfield areas begun in April 2018.

“VAGLAHS continues its commitment to assuring our Veterans have accessible urgent care services,” said Robert McKenrick, executive director of Clinical Care at VAGLAHS. “In combination with our community-based clinics, VAGLAHS expands the services to meet the healthcare needs of Veterans.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can Veterans walk into any community urgent care center and receive care?
    No, all care must be pre-authorized. Veterans should first contact the VISN 22 Telephone Advice Nurse Call Line at 877-252-4866 before walking into an urgent care center. This pilot has specific urgent care centers in each community. Not all urgent care centers will be in this pilot. The urgent care centers in this pilot may change as the pilot progresses.
  2. Will I be referred to my local VA Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) or Community-Based Outpatient Center (CBOC) during regular VA business hours?
    All VA ACCs and CBOCs within VAGLAHS have walk-in availability during normal business hours; however, as can be expected, there may be a wait depending on the number of Veterans already being seen or scheduled to be seen in any of the local VA ACCs or CBOCs. When calling the nurse triage line during normal business hours, it will be determined whether it is feasible for a Veteran to: (1) be seen at the local VA ACC or CBOC, (2) be offered a future appointment, (3) receive a referral to a local Urgent Care Center, or (4) be referred to an emergency department (should the circumstances require it).
  3. What are the hours of operation for the community urgent care centers?
    The hours of operation vary depending on community urgent care center. The VISN 22 Telephone Advice Nurse Call Line will be able to provide the hours of operation for the nearest urgent care center the Veteran chooses to go to.
  4. When Veterans receive prescriptions, where can they be filled?
    A Veteran may fill an urgently needed prescription at one of the approved pharmacies. The prescription must be associated with the authorized convenient care visit and is available for a 10-day or less fill.
  5. What are the locations and hours of the urgent care centers?
    A Veteran may be referred to any of the urgent care centers listed below. Veterans are not authorized to walk into these centers without first being pre-authorized for each visit, through the VISN 22 Telephone Advice Nurse Call Line. As of May 31, 2018, current urgent care centers and their hours are listed below. Note: these urgent care centers may change as the pilot progresses.

Urgent Care Centers

Accelerated Urgent Care 4871 White Lane Bakersfield 93309 8am-9pm daily
Accelerated Urgent Care 9500 Stockdale Highway, Suite 100 Bakersfield 93311 8am-9pm daily
Accelerated Urgent Care 9710 Brimhall Road Bakersfield 93312 8am-9:30pm daily
Accelerated Urgent Care 9917 Olive Drive Bakersfield 93312 8am-8pm daily
Accelerated Urgent Care 2400 K Street Bakersfield 93301 8am-9pm daily (closed for lunch 1-2:30pm daily)
High Desert Medical Group 43839 15th Street West Lancaster 93534-4756 Open 24 hours, 7 days a week
Summit Urgent Care 38656 Medical Center Drive Palmdale 93551 8am - 8pm 7 days a week (holiday schedule varies)
Ric Garrison AV Urgent Care 41210 11th Street Palmdale 93551 8am to 7pm Mon-Thurs, 8am to 6pm Fri, 9am to 3pm Sat
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital 1111 North China Lake Blvd. Ridgecrest 93555 7am - 6pm Mon-Fri; 8am - 5pm Sat-Sun
CVS Minute Clinic 25880 McBean Parkway Valencia 91355 9am - 5:30pm Sun-Sat
Simi Health Center 1350 East Los Angeles Simi Valley 93065 8am - 7pm Mon-Fri; 9am - 5pm Sat-Sun

ABOUT VAGLAHS: VAGLAHS is one component of the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network (VISN22) offering services to Veterans residing in Southern California. VAGLAHS consists of three ambulatory care centers, a tertiary care facility and 10 community-based outpatient clinics. VAGLAHS serves Veterans residing throughout five counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo. There are about 1.4 million Veterans in the VAGLAHS service area. For more information, call (310) 478-3711 or visit us at Veterans in need can call the VA hotline toll-free at 877-4-AID-VET.

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