The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is implementing a pilot program to provide health care services through contractual arrangements with non-VA care providers. This pilot, Project ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home), intends to improve access for eligible Veterans by connecting them to health care services closer to home.
Eligibility for the pilot program is based on specific criteria including Veterans enrollment for VA health care and distance from VHA for primary care, secondary care or acute care. The number of Veterans who are eligible to participate in Project ARCH will depend on the specific pilot site and the Veterans’ health care needs.
Five pilot sites have been established across the country. Project ARCH services will be offered in Northern Maine, Farmville, Va., Pratt, Kan., Flagstaff, Ariz., and Billings, Mont.
Veterans can find out if they are eligible by contacting their Care Coordinator at their VA Medical Center, who will work with them to assess their eligibility. The Care Coordinator will assist interested eligible Veterans to complete an application and will work closely with the non-VA providers. The Care Coordinator will also monitor the Veterans’ care while they are being seen by the contracted providers.
VA will pay a negotiated contract rate for the services provided by non-VA providers. All Veterans who participate in Project ARCH will still have responsibility for co-payments, if applicable.
Veterans are eligible to participate in the program if they reside in a location where a pilot site is located and if they are enrolled for VA health care when the program starts, and meet any of the following criteria:
- Live more than 60 minutes driving time from the nearest VA health care facility providing primary care services, or
- Live more than 120 minutes time distance from the nearest VA health care facility providing acute hospital care, or
- Live more than 240 minutes driving time from the nearest VA health care facility providing tertiary care.
Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans and Veterans who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations or in combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities after November 11, 1998, do not need to be enrolled for VA health care when Project ARCH starts. They will need to meet the above mentioned drive time criteria and enroll in VA in order to participate in the program. For additional questions on eligibility at the pilot locations, Veterans may contact their Care Coordinator.
Each Project ARCH pilot site will contract with specific providers for each service covered under the Pilot. Veterans must use those providers to participate in Project ARCH. However, participation in Project ARCH does not affect eligibility for Fee-Basis services.
Care Coordinators will work closely with the contracted non-VA provider to ensure that they have all of the necessary clinical information from a Veteran’s medical records. The Care Coordinator will also ensure that the VA receives information from the non-VA provider to keep your medical records up-to-date.
Veterans with questions about participating at one of the five pilot locations can send an e-mail message to AskProjectArch [at] va.gov. (Please do not include personal medical information via this unprotected e-mail route.)