VA Expands Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) Contracts to Provide Access to Primary Care

Posted on August 13th, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that primary care has been added to the services available to Veterans through VA’s Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) contracts, a key and evolving part of the non-VA medical care program.  Eligible Veterans are already able to access inpatient specialty care, outpatient specialty care, mental health care, limited emergency care and limited newborn care for female Veterans following childbirth under PC3.

“With the addition of primary care services, VA Medical Centers can now use PC3 to provide additional types of care in order to reduce wait times,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald.  “This modification is another example of how we are working to ensure Veterans get the care they need, when they need it and where they want to be seen.”

This modification supports VA’s Accelerated Care Initiative, helping to move Veterans off of waitlists and into care. Additionally, reduced commuting standards will require that contracted providers schedule appointments closer to the Veterans’ homes.

The initial PC3 contracts were awarded in September 2013 to Tri-West and HealthNet and have been used as part of the non-VA medical care program to purchase care in the community.

“PC3 is part of the overall non-VA medical care program,” said Dr. Carolyn A. Clancy,VA’s Interim Under Secretary for Health.  “We look forward to expanding our ability to provide timely access to health care services to our Veterans.”

VA Medical Centers have the ability to purchase non-VA medical care for Veterans through contracted medical providers when they cannot readily provide the needed care due to geographic inaccessibility or limited capacity. This additional option is available to purchase non-VA medical care when required Veteran care services are unavailable within the VA medical facility, or when Veterans benefit from receiving the needed care nearer to their homes. In addition, VA is reviewing how PC3 may be used to help implement the newly enacted Veterans Choice, Access, and Accountability Act of 2014.

Through PC3, Veterans can expect to receive high-quality health care that is coordinated with their VA providers. For more information on PC3, visit http://www.nonvacare.va.gov/PC3/index.asp.



Department Service Officer Employment Opportunity

Posted on August 11th, 2014

The American Legion, Department of Texas has an opening for a Department Service Officer in our Waco office. More information about the position and requirements for applying can be found on the Employment Opportunities page.



President signs VA reform bill

Posted on August 7th, 2014

National commander joins ceremony that will provide emergency funds for veterans trying to get medical appointments.

WASHINGTON (Aug. 7, 2014) – American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger was at Fort Belvoir, Va., today where President Obama signed a $16.3 billion emergency spending measure that provides greater veteran access to non-VA health-care providers, among other reforms in the system.

“Today, another step is taken in the journey to restore trust in VA among our nation’s veterans,” Dellinger said after the bill was signed this morning. “We all understand it’s going to be a long journey.  Those veterans who have been waiting a month or longer for medical appointments do not have time to wait for the entire journey to end. They need to see doctors and caregivers now, and that’s what this funding is expected to provide, on a temporary basis. The long-term solution is not to voucher out VA health care.”

The reform package, which provides additional VA medical staff and allows VA greater authority to dismiss directors who fail to meet expectations, was introduced after VA whistleblowers came forward last spring to announce that they had allegedly been directed to falsify appointment records leaving some veterans on secret lists with no appointments scheduled at all.

Since then, The American Legion has conducted seven town hall meetings and has provided support by conducting Veterans Crisis Command Centers in seven communities, with more scheduled in the coming months.

So far, the American Legion command centers have personally helped more than 2,000 veterans gain access to the VA system, apply for benefits and receive other forms of help.

Media contacts: Washington: Marty Callaghan: 202-263-5758/202-341-8900; Indianapolis: Joe March or John Raughter, (317) 630-1253 / (317) 441-8847.



Online Enrollment is Now Available for LIT No Cost AD&D

Posted on August 4th, 2014

The Legionnaire Insurance Trust is pleased to announce that online enrollment is now available for the LegionCare No Cost Accidental Death benefit. Please be sure to let your Department know about this one-of-a-kind benefit offered exclusively to Legionnaires.

LegionCare provides all Legionnaires with:

  • $5,000 in Accidental Death Coverage for covered accidents that occur if you are traveling on official Legion business.
  • $1,000 for all other covered accidents.
  • 24/7 protection that covers Legionnaires at home, at work and while they are travelling away from home available for all Legionnaires in your Department.

To learn more or to sign up, please visit http://www.thelit.com/no-cost-legioncare.

 



American Legion National Commander: ‘Together, we can get VA back on track’

Posted on July 29th, 2014

American Legion national commander expresses confidence that McDonald will work closely with veterans to restore trust in VA.

WASHINGTON (July 29, 2014) — American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger today thanked the Senate for acting quickly to confirm the nomination of former Procter & Gamble Chief Executive Officer Robert McDonald to become secretary of the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs. “The time to act is now,” Dellinger said. “Veterans are waiting for the care they earned and deserve.”

The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs voted 14-0 Wednesday in support of McDonald, 61, who would replace retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki, who resigned in late May. Shinseki’s departure came after The American Legion called for urgent change, starting with new leadership at the top, to restore trust in the system after revelations that veterans had died waiting for VA doctor appointments that were never really scheduled and that executives received bonuses for falsified performance reports.

From McDonald, Dellinger said he looks for the kind of changes one would expect in the corporate world when a company is in trouble.

“The American Legion is confident that Robert McDonald will apply his experience leading big, complex business operations to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a complex operation that desperately needs a system-wide overhaul right now,” Dellinger said. “I am also confident Mr. McDonald will understand the importance of engaging the veteran stakeholders of the VA health-care system as reforms are adopted in the coming months.”

Dellinger said the incoming VA secretary must make patients his first priority and include them at the table as changes are planned and executed. “It’s time to put the veteran back into the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Dellinger said. “No more secret lists. No more bonuses for poor performance or unreasonably long waiting times for appointments. No more accuracy breakdowns in deciding benefits claims. In this equation, the veteran is the customer, and The American Legion represents that customer. We look forward to working with Mr. McDonald. Together, we can get VA back on track and restore trust among the patients it serves, as well as the public, which expects nothing less than timely, high-quality care for our nation’s veterans.”

With more than 2.4 million members, The American Legion is the nation’s largest veterans service organization.

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Media contacts: Washington – Marty Callaghan:202-263-5758/202-341-8900, mcallaghan@legion.org or Indianapolis – John Raughter, 317-630-1253/ 317-441-8847, jraughter@legion.org. A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr.Dellinger is available at www.legion.org.



Department Moble App launched

Posted on June 21st, 2014

We have created a mobile app for use on smartphones and tablets. It is available in the Apple App Store, iTunes, Amazon and Goggle Play Store. Download and enjoy. You can also click on the link above to get the app.



Post/Squadron Commander & Adjutant Report

Posted on April 27th, 2014

The New Post/Squadron Commander & Adjutant Report form from National has been sent out to all Posts, please fill out and return the two copies to Department Headquarters. This form should be submitted with your Post Office Certification Form.



American Legion Centennial Celebration Website

Posted on February 3rd, 2014

The American Legion National Headquarters has created a Centennial Celebration http://centennial.legion.org. All Posts are asked to go to the webpage and register your Post to the site. The Department of Texas currently only has 9 Posts registered.

The American Legion Centennial Celebration is not only about honoring the past 100 years of our history, but also preparing to continue our legacy of service. Events and activities at posts all around the world will showcase The American Legion “Still Serving America.”



IRS revises position on DD-214 requirement

Posted on December 11th, 2013

The American Legion recently reported that the Internal Revenue Service was fining Legion posts – up to $1,000 per day – for not keeping records of veterans’ DD-214s, the separation document given by the military to prove honorable service, or other valid documentation. The Legion felt it was being wrongly targeted, resulting in the passing of three resolutions during the organization’s national convention in Houston that called upon Congress to look into the IRS’ field investigations into Legion posts, while lawmakers wrote letters to the IRS asking why inspectors were asking posts to provide discharge papers or service records during reviews of their tax-exempt statuses.

The IRS has now revised its position on the DD-214 requirement in section 501(c)19 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Effective immediately, DD-214s are only required if an agent “possesses information that contradicts documentary information provided (by the veterans service organization) or if the organization fails to satisfy a reasonable request…”

If an agent requires proof of membership eligibility, he or she will first request four sets of documents before requesting DD-214s or other discharge documents.

Read the revised guidelines at www.legion.org/documents/legion/pdf/dd214irs.pdf



New Texas Pin Available

Posted on April 15th, 2013

newTXpin_web

New Texas pin now available! Pin is: 1.125” X 1”

Please send orders and check to:
Ron Bell
6428 Indian Path
San Angelo, TX  76901

• One pin: $2.25
• Five pins: $11.00 ($2.20 each)
• Ten Pins: $21.50 ($2.15 each)

I do not know what my status (health issues) will be for the Department Convention in Arlington or the National Convention in Houston so a mail order will be the easiest way to get these Convention Trading Pins to you.

Post 572 thanks you for your continued support.
Ron Bell
Adjutant