The Joining of Hands: Innovative Non-VA Patient Care Partnerships to Help Veterans

By Donald Lachman, Special Projects Coordinator, and Andrea Talmadge, Regional Coordinator, WAServes/WestCare Washington

There is a national movement to reduce the traditional communication barriers existing amongst community stakeholders and health care providers related to improving the access, coordination, and delivery of patient care services. Helping to drive these innovations is the growing use of information-sharing platforms like UniteUs combined with Medicaid transformation.

Transformation under Medicaid waivers has been incentivized with improved patient care outcomes, reduced costly hospital readmissions, and a decrease in the chronic use of emergency services.

WestCare Washington’s, coordinated case-management program, WAServes, was an early user of UniteUs. WAServes recently initiated conversations with leadership representing the state’s largest health care provider, Kaiser Permanente. These discussions raised awareness on the thousands of Washington state Veterans who are likely receiving care from Kaiser and have increased understanding of the potential value of integrating Veterans’ benefits and resources into patient care support. Additionally, they highlighted the connection between Veterans’ resources and Kaiser’s goal of “Total Care” and explained how patient care plans enhanced with Veterans’ benefits will advance Kaiser’s Medicaid transformation goals with their lucrative fiscal incentives.

The implementation of a model health care collaboration advancing the use of Veterans benefits by non-VA health care entities is a potential game-changer.

Our next actions include collecting data and identifying Veterans currently using select Kaiser clinics, introducing care team coordinators to WAServes, and composing an informational article for Kaiser’s staff newsletter. Our long-term vision in this groundbreaking partnership includes the recognized value contributed by WAServes’ involvement and the prospect of compensation for our professional expertise and services.

By WestCare

We're a family of nonprofit organizations providing a wide spectrum of health and human services across the United States, 3 U.S. territories, and 2 Republics.

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