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Provider News

This page provides the latest information for community providers who are partnering with VA to care for our nation’s Veterans. From here, you can access the latest news, policy changes, and health care program updates!

To get the latest updates directly in your inbox, we encourage you to sign up for our monthly community provider newsletter.

Provider Advisor–Past Issues

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Current articles

CCN Region 4 adds U.S. Pacific Territories

The VA contract with TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Inc., (TriWest) for Community Care Network (CCN) Region 4 was modified in January 2022 to include the following U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

As a result, the use of the Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) network in Region 4 will be phased out. To provide treatment to eligible Veterans, community providers working with VA through PC3 will need to join CCN.

Going forward, other than through CCN, Veterans Care Agreements (VCAs) and direct local contracts are the other only avenues providers may use to deliver services to Veterans. These agreements are limited and approved only if the services cannot be provided through CCN.

If you are located in Region 4 and want to join CCN, you will need to sign up with TriWest, the Third Party Administrator (TPA) to continue to provide services to eligible Veterans. Since TriWest is the TPA for both PC3 and CCN in Region 4, community providers should review their current agreements and enroll in VA CCN to be compliant with program requirements.

Resources and Support

Controlled Substance eRx Now Accepted by VA

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pharmacies now accept community provider electronic prescriptions for controlled substances for eligible Veterans to include stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids and others. VA will continue to receive and fill controlled substance prescriptions submitted by paper or (where applicable) to VA.

What You Need to Know

  • VA pharmacies will be listed in the provider pharmacy database.
  • VA can now accept and fill an eligible Veterans’ electronic prescription for controlled and non-controlled substances at VA pharmacies from community providers.
  • VA continues to accept and fill paper prescriptions (or fax where applicable) for all medications including controlled substances; however, electronic prescriptions are recommended due to their ease and compliance with all state regulations.

Please take time to discuss the new VA-controlled substance, inbound electronic capability solution and the cost-benefit of filling prescriptions at VA with eligible Veterans.

Copayments–Medications has more information on medication copayments for Veterans.

Pharmacy Benefits explains these benefits for family member health care programs in more detail.

Download the VA Exposure Ed App

The VA Exposure Ed app is designed to assist community providers with providing information to Veterans on potential health effects associated with certain exposures during military service. These exposures include certain chemicals, air pollutants, radiation, occupational or environmental hazards, and warfare agents. The app also provides information on nearby VA facilities, allowing you to assist Veterans with identifying where they can access benefits and services.

With the app, you can search for information on exposures by specific exposure name, date and location of military service, or conflict. You can also learn about potential health effects from these exposures and related VA programs and policies. The app provides tips for asking questions and communicating risk, helps you create a care plan, and lets you build a customized note of related information that can be shared with the Veteran.

Apple and Android mobile device users can download the Exposure Ed app for free in the App Store or Google Play Store. Learn more about the app on the VA App Store.

VA App Store

Released: 2022 VA Fee Schedule

The 2022 Department of Veterans Affairs Fee Schedule (VAFS) is now published.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reimburses medical services, hospital care and extended care services up to the maximum allowable rate. The maximum allowable reimbursement rate is generally the applicable Medicare rate published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). When there is no Medicare rate available, VA reimburses the lesser of VAFS or billed charges.

Historically, VAFS was set at the 75th percentile of billed charges which resulted in much higher maximum allowable rates than commercial insurers and other federal health programs allowed for the same services. Previous versions of VAFS also did not include maximum allowable rates for over 1,000 procedure codes which resulted in reimbursement defaulting to billed charges for these services.

VA is modernizing the reimbursement methodology to ensure maximum allowable VAFS rates are consistent with industry reimbursement benchmarks (Fair Health, Truven, etc.) and ensure that most services have maximum allowable rates. VA is implementing these changes over two years to minimize impact to providers. For CY22, VAFS fee will be the average of the 75th percentile of billed charges and the industry median allowable rate. For CY23, VAFS will be based on the industry median allowable rate wherever possible. The goal of VAFS is to ensure fair reimbursement for all providers when Medicare maximum allowable rates are not available.

Reimbursement rates are subject to change annually and more often if required.

VA Fee Schedule contains more information and a link to the fee schedule document.

Supporting Veterans During Events in Afghanistan

The ongoing events in Afghanistan and the upcoming 20th anniversary of the September 11 attack has had a direct impact on our nation’s Veterans and their loved ones. As Veterans of all eras react to these events, we want to make you aware of resources available to help support Veterans during what may be a difficult time.

Veterans may be questioning the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service. VA is committed to making sure that the well-being of every Veteran is addressed.

As our community provider partners, we ask you to take extra care of our Veterans during these challenging times. Please encourage them and their loved ones to talk with their friends and families, reach out to battle buddies, or connect with a peer-to-peer network, a spiritual leader, and/or mental health provider.

VA Mental Health – Support for Health Care Providers

Support Resources

There are a number of resources readily available to Veterans listed below. We encourage you to share them with the Veterans and their beneficiaries that you serve.

VA Resources

  • Veterans Crisis Line: If you are having thoughts of suicide, the Veterans Crisis Line can help even if you’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care. Free, 24/7, confidential support is a click away.

800-273-8255, then PRESS 1
or Text 838255

  • Find a VA location: for emergency mental health care, you can go directly to your local VA medical center 24/7 regardless of your discharge status or enrollment in other VA health care.
  • Vet Centers: Discuss how you feel with other Veterans in these community-based counseling centers. 70% of Vet Center staff are Veterans.
  • VA Mental Health Services Guide: This guide will help you sign up and access mental health services.
  • Information, resources and Veteran to Veteran videos for challenging life events and experiences with mental health issues.
  • Center for Minority Veterans: Serves as an advocate for minority Veterans by conducting outreach activities to promote the awareness and use of VA benefits and services.
  • VA Self-Help Apps: Download tools to help deal with common reactions like stress, sadness and anxiety. You can also track your symptoms over time.
  • VA Women Veterans Call Center: Health care and benefits services, and programs for women Veterans
  • VA Caregiver Support Line: A toll-free number for caregivers, family members, friends, Veterans, and community partners to contact for information related to caregiving and available supports and services.

Find VA Medical Center or Vet Center locations

Vet Center Call Center:
877-WAR-VETS (927-8387)

VA Mental Health Services Guide

Center for Minority Veterans

VA Self-Help Apps

VA Women Veterans Call Center:
Call/Text 855-829-6636 (M-F 8am–10pm & SAT 8am–6:30pm ET)

VA Caregiver Support Line:
855-260-3274 (M-F 8am–10pm & SAT 8am–5pm ET)

Other Resources

American Red Cross Military Veteran Caregiver Network: Connect online, find mentoring and join a peer support group.

Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes: Sign up on the National Caregiver Registry for access to local events and resources.

George W. Bush Institute Veteran Wellness Alliance: Connecting veterans with the support and services they need.

Student Veterans of America: Use our directory to find an SVA Chapter on a campus near you.

Team Red, White & Blue: Find a chapter for local and virtual opportunities for Veterans and the community to connect through physical and social activity.

Team Rubicon: Serves communities by mobilizing veterans to continue their service, leveraging their skills and experience to help people affected by disaster.

Together We Served: A secure platform for all Veterans to engage with other Veterans. Find your battle buddies. Honor military service.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS): Compassionate care to all those grieving the death of a military loved one. Programs include seminars, youth events, peer mentors, an online community and more.

VA web series–Afghanistan: How Veterans can reconcile service

VAntage Point blog: Official blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Find stories from around VA and the Veteran community.

VetResources newsletterA weekly newsletter for Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.