VA health centers across the country are experiencing a higher call volume than ever as the country navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. Navigating the ins and outs of veteran’s health care can be complicated and confusing to begin with. This is especially true with the added layer of the coronavirus.
Many American veterans are considered in the high-risk category for experiencing COVID-19 complications. Statistics indicate most American veterans are between 65-74. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control points out the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age for adults, with older adults at the highest risk.
Veteran’s Health Care in Florida
With that in mind, we want to remind you about our veteran’s care services we offer at Restore Health Urgent Care in Palm Bay, FL.
We are a proud VA Authorized Urgent Care facility under the Mission Act. In addition to providing veterans with more healthcare options, the VA Mission Act allows veterans to receive more immediate care for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses by allowing approved urgent care facilities to contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs TriWest insurance plan.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, data from the Veterans Administration indicates that veterans are often unable to receive timely access to care or experience appointment wait times that are too long. To provide active duty or retired military service members with the urgent care they need, veterans can walk into Restore Health Urgent Care with no appointment or prior authorization needed for treatment.
We will also facilitate all coverage confirmation and billing logistics with the VA to make the process as straightforward and easy as possible.
Veterans and COVID-19
Understandably, you may have more specific medical care concerns during COVID-19. Let’s discuss those in more detail to get you the information you need.
Keep reading for answers to FAQ about veterans and COVID-19.
How is Veterans Affairs responding to COVID-19?
In March, the VA released its COVID-19 response plan. They have implemented an aggressive public health response to protect and care for veterans, their families, health care providers, and staff during the pandemic. Additionally, they are working directly with the CDC and other federal partners to monitor the outbreak of the virus.
Since March, VA has administered over 365,880 COVID-19 tests across the country. These tests are in conjunction with other protective measures, including outreach to veterans and staff, clinical screening at VA health care facilities, and protective procedures for patients admitted to community living centers and spinal cord injury units.
They also share real-time, map-based data on COVID-19 case counts which is available on VA’s Access to Care Website.
What should veterans with COVID-19 symptoms do next?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call us or your local VA facility. It’s important to call ahead to get instructions for your next steps to help limit the likelihood of exposing others to the virus. When you call, testing can be arranged for you, or you’ll be instructed for other steps to take.
How can veterans get tested for COVID-19?
COVID-19 testing for veterans is based on many factors, including:
- The severity of symptoms
- Other existing illnesses or conditions
- Possible exposure
VA health facilities have been testing eligible veterans who meet the testing criteria provided by the CDC with no charge for testing.
If you do have symptoms of COVID-19, please call us at (321) 312-4580, ext. 4 and we’ll help arrange testing for you.
If you do NOT have any symptoms and you’d like to be tested for coronavirus antibodies, this test can be done at Restore Health Urgent Care. Please note if you have symptoms of COVID-19, the antibodies test is not appropriate to confirm this.
Do I need to wear a mask at VA health facilities?
For the safety and well-being of yourself, other patients, staff, and the general public, yes.
The VA requires everyone entering their facilities to wear a cloth face covering. If you don’t have your own, they will provide you with one. If you wear an oxygen mask, you don’t need an additional face covering.
Would you like to learn more about how to wear, sanitize, and make a cloth face covering? Go to the CDC website for more information.
Is VA still doing claim exams?
Yes. After temporary changes due to COVID-19, VA is now starting to do in-person exams again in many locations. Their contract exam providers will conduct all in-person examinations.
I’m feeling anxious during COVID-19. What can I do?
With all of the fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health.
If you currently have mental health appointments scheduled at your VA facility, keep these appointments, and discuss your concerns. In many cases, these appointments are now being done virtually, so there’s no need to leave home.
If you don’t have a standing mental health appointment, call to set one up.
We also share more tips for dealing with anxiety during COVID-19 in this post.
Contact Restore Health Urgent Care for veterans care during COVID-19 and beyond.
At Restore Health, we are grateful to the men and women who served our country, and we are proud to be a VA Authorized urgent care, allowing us to serve them. We are here to provide our services during COVID-19 and beyond.
In addition to veteran’s healthcare services, we offer a variety of other convenient and affordable healthcare services for non-life-threatening illnesses and medical conditions. With on-site laboratory services, digital imaging, and X-rays, we use the most current technology to treat your entire family, usually within 15 minutes of check-in.