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With telehealth, Veterans can access care when and where they need it
Last year, more than 2.3 million Veterans used VA telehealth
Last year, more than 2.3 million Veterans used telehealth to access VA care. VA is leading the way, allowing Veterans to access care when and where they need it. This also makes it easier for Veterans to connect with their VA care team from home, a VA facility or wherever they are.
In honor of Telehealth Awareness Week, here are four ways that Veterans can use telehealth as part of their VA care plan.
Some routine appointments with a primary care provider can often be conducted virtually. Video telehealth visits enable the VA provider to see the Veteran just as if they were in an exam room. Veterans can even receive physicals and screenings for conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity and depression.
With the VA Video Connect app, Veterans meet with VA providers through secure videoconferencing using a smartphone, tablet or computer with an internet connection. Veterans can also invite family members or caregivers to join their VA video appointments, even if they live in a different location.
Connecting face-to-face over video—even when miles apart—can help Veterans be more engaged in their treatment plans. And it helps VA providers know when Veterans need more support.
Veterans can also use My HealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal, to exchange secure messages with their provider. And they can access their test results through the portal’s Blue Button feature.
Instant care for non-urgent needs
VA Health Chat, VA’s instant messaging app, gives Veterans quick access to care for nonurgent health concerns. VA Health Chat is available in select locations around the country.
The app provides Veterans with a secure channel to chat with VA staff through text or video. Veterans can receive answers from VA staff in minutes for non-urgent needs. This can include medical advice for a minor injury or questions about prescriptions.
Veterans can also use VA Health Chat to schedule VA appointments, refill VA prescriptions and more.
Mental health care
Veterans can use telehealth technologies and other VA virtual tools to support their mental health.
More than 98% of VA mental health providers have conducted at least one video visit with a Veteran. This means it’s likely that you can access some part of your mental health care through telehealth.
VA mental health providers also use telehealth technologies to screen and treat Veterans for anxiety, depression, PTSD and more.
VA offers many apps to help Veterans improve their mental health and well-being. These free and secure tools and resources can reach Veterans who may be unable or hesitant to get treatment. Some VA apps that promote Veterans’ mental health include the Annie App for Veterans, PTSD Coach, and Mindfulness Coach.
Access care closer to home
VA’s ATLAS pilot program expands access to VA care for Veterans in rural areas.
ATLAS (Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations) provides Veterans with comfortable, private spaces in convenient locations in their communities to connect with VA providers through VA Video Connect. ATLAS sites remove barriers for Veterans, such as long travel times to facilities or limited internet connectivity at home.
Veterans can access clinical services that do not require hands-on exams through a video visit at the ATLAS site. These services vary by location and can include primary care, mental health and other specialty services.
An on-site attendant is available to assist with technology support.