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File a Claim for Veteran Care

VA accepts both electronic and paper claim submissions. Electronic claim submissions will be automatically routed to the correct VA location for processing. Paper claims must be submitted to the claims processing unit responsible for the referring VA Medical Center.

The process for submitting claims for health care provided to Veterans is different depending on how VA authorized the care.

For claims authorized and provided through Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) networks or the Veterans Choice Program (VCP), you should file your claim directly with VA’s Third Party Administrator (TPA), TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest). Please note: VCP ended on June 6, 2019.

For emergent care claims that have not been preauthorized through the Community Care Network, claims and records should be submitted to the payment processing unit associated with the VA medical facility nearest to where the emergent services were provided.

Veterans Choice Program/Patient-Centered Community Care Claims

Filing Directly with TriWest
Claims for care provided through PC3, or previously through the VCP, must be sent to and processed by TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest). You can find specific instructions and contact information in the TriWest Claims and Reimbursement Quick Reference Guide.

TriWest Claims and Reimbursement Quick Reference Guide

Health Net Federal Services Information
Health Net Federal Services (Health Net) was a TPA for VA’s PC3 networks and the VCP. Health care provided to Veterans through Health Net ceased in June 2018, and VA’s contract with Health Net ended on September 30, 2018. The deadline for community providers to file initial claims for Health Net-authorized services with Health Net was March 26, 2019.

For questions and more information, please call the Health Net provider service line or visit the Health Net website.

HNFS Provider Service Line: 844-728-1914
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST, excluding certain holidays

VCP Provider Agreement/Community Care Claims

Claims for care previously provided through a VCP Provider Agreement should be sent directly to VA. Once you have provided care to a Veteran, you can submit a claim directly to VA electronically or by mail. VA encourages filing electronically for prompt processing and payment.

Claim Filing Requirements

National Provider Identifier (NPI)
The VHA OCC requires the use of the NPI on all inbound medical, dental, and pharmacy transactions. If you are a HIPAA-covered health care provider who electronically bills for services to VA programs, or submits other electronic transactions through our clearinghouse, you need an NPI. NPIs that should be sent include, but are not limited to, rendering, referring, and prescribing NPIs.

More information on the use of NPIs can be found on the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) website.

Authorization Annotation
VA now requires a referral/authorization number to be submitted on all 837 Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and paper claim submissions that are for preauthorized services. The compliance date for this is June 2019, so please begin adjusting processes and systems now. This additional claim data will enable faster claims processing for authorized care.

  • For paper claims, include this information in field 23 on a HCFA 1500 or field 63 on a UB-04.
  • For EDI 837, Referral Number is Loop = 2300, Segment = REF*9F, Position = REF02 or Prior Authorization, Loop = 2300, Segment = REF*G1, Position = REF02.
  • If you are a Home Health Agency billing with an OASIS Treatment number, you will continue to place the Treatment Authorization Code (TAC) in field 63a on UB-04 and the VA referral/authorization number in field 63b.
  • For EDI 837I (Institutional Health Care Claim), use the Prior Authorization segment for the TAC and the Referral Number segment for the VA referral/authorization number.

Claims Where VA May be Secondary Payer
For claims where VA may be secondary payer, provide a copy of the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from the primary payer documenting the balance remaining is not due to a copayment, cost-share, deductible, or other similar patient liability. Please include a copy of the reverse side of the EOB if a definition/explanation of codes is listed on the back.

Electronic Claims

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accepts HIPAA-compliant 837 Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) health care claims from community providers that treat Veterans or beneficiaries. Additionally, as of mid-2019, VA introduced the ability to attach supporting documentation, known as 275 transactions, with EDI 837 transaction health care claims.

For Veteran care, the 275 transaction process for supporting documentation is used to accompany unauthorized emergency care claims; therefore, supporting documentation may include:

  • Emergency Room Notes
  • Transfer Notes and Discharge Summaries
  • Operative Reports
  • Other Health Insurance (OHI) Explanation of Benefits
  • Any other document type normally sent via paper in support of a Veteran unauthorized emergency claim

NOTE: Community providers treating Veterans under one of VA’s Third Party Administrators (TPA) should submit their claims directly to the authorizing TPA for processing. Medical documentation for care referred and authorized by VA or by VA’s TPAs should be submitted back to VA as part of the care coordination process. The 275 transaction process is not intended for these documents.

For beneficiary care, the 275 transaction process for supporting documentation can be used for every type of service and includes, but is not limited to, the emergency care documentation noted above, history and physical reports, and any other document type normally sent via paper in support of a beneficiary claim.

How to Submit Electronic Claims
All compliant claims and supporting documentation submitted electronically via EDI will automatically be sent to VA through the Change Healthcare clearinghouse. VA will then reimburse community providers for any unauthorized emergency care provided to Veterans and all care provided to beneficiaries.

Community providers that are interested in sending electronic claims as 837 transactions and supporting documentation as 275 transactions can begin doing so through the VA healthcare clearinghouse, Change Healthcare (formerly Emdeon Inc.) or through another clearinghouse of their choice. See the “Change Healthcare Contacts” above for contact information. Community providers that elect to continue to submit paper-based claims and supporting documentation should refer to the Paper-Based Claim Submissions and Supporting Documentation web page.

Change Healthcare
If you are interested in submitting claims through Change Healthcare, or if you need to change or cancel your enrollment, please contact Change Healthcare directly or visit their website.

If you are not connected to Change Healthcare, contact your EDI clearinghouse and request to have our payer IDs added to their software system.

Paper Claims

VA encourages providers to submit claims electronically. VA does accept paper claims, but the processing time is 20 days longer on average. Paper claims submitted to VA will be subject to the Paper to Electronic Claims process.

When filing a paper claim, the following information must be submitted:

  • Itemized billing statement on either a CMS-1500 form or UB-04 form
  • Full name, address, National Provider Identifier (NPI), and tax ID number of the provider
  • Veteran’s Social Security Number
  • Remit to address
  • Rendering facility address
  • Provider professional status
    (doctor, nurse, physician assistant, etc.)
  • Specific date of each service provided
  • Itemized charges for each service
  • Appropriate code for each service
    (ICD-10, CPT, HCPCS)

Where to Send Paper Claims
Information about where to send paper claims for care provided through a VCP Provider Agreement or community care can be found in the authorization document. If you provided care through a different community care program, please review the Contact List for information and addresses for where to send your claim.

Converting Paper Claims to EDI (P2E)
To improve efficiency, VA is transitioning paper claims for community care to an electronic format. Currently, VA sends paper claims to a centralized location for scanning and conversion to an electronic 835 format.

As part of this process, the paper submission intake system automatically scans for noncompliant form fields based on national standards. Claims submitted that do not comply with nationally standardized billing requirements will be rejected before passing to VA’s clearinghouse and claims processing system.

This front-end claim evaluation process ensures that providers who have submitted incomplete claims are notified as quickly as possible about the need for correction. The acceptance of complete claims reduces processing time since fewer corrections to noncompliant fields will be needed during claims processing.

Resources

Dental Claims

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to make timely and accurate payments to community health care providers. To further this goal, VA is modernizing its claims submission process.VA strongly encourages all community providers, to include dental providers, to utilize electronic claim submission capabilities. Doing so simplifies the claims intake process, ensures claim completeness and accuracy, and can help reduce the total amount of time it takes for community providers to receive reimbursement for services provided to Veterans.

Dental Claim Resources

Please refer to the dental claim resources to ensure compliance. Non-compliant dental claims submitted to VA on or after October 1, 2019 will be rejected. Please begin ensuring compliance immediately.

Emergency Care Claims

When emergency care is necessary, Veterans should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. Notification of emergent treatment must be provided to VA as soon as possible and within 72 hours of treatment. VA reimbursement for the emergent care may be authorized if clinical and administrative criteria are met.

Expanded Eligibility for Emergency Care
On January 9, 2018, VA began processing claims for reimbursement for reasonable costs that were only partially paid by a Veteran’s other health insurance (OHI). Those costs may include hospital charges, professional fees, and emergency transportation such as ambulances. VA applied the updated regulations to claims pending with VA on or after April 8, 2016, and to new claims. VA’s Payment Limitation regulation (Title 38 CFR §17.1005) establishes the methodology used to process and pay these claims.

Title 38 CFR §17.1005Federal RegisterFact Sheet: VA Expands Eligibility for Emergency Treatment

Claims for emergency medical care should be submitted to VA as soon as possible after care has been provided. The deadline for filing a claim depends on whether care was provided for a service-connected condition or a nonservice-connected condition. The following chart describes filing requirements, deadlines, and payment rates.

What to submit when filing an emergency care claim
What Do I Submit?
Veterans/Veterans' Representatives Providers
Veterans or their personal representatives may file a claim for reimbursement of emergency treatment costs that they have incurred and paid to the provider.

  • In this situation, Veterans should obtain and submit all related treatment and billing records to the closest VA medical facility.
  • In most cases, providers will submit a claim directly to VA, and the Veteran will not have to take further action.
Submit claims for services not preauthorized by VA to the VA medical facility closest to where the emergent treatment was provided.

  • Submission must include a standard billing form (such as a CMS 1450 or CMS 1500), containing false claims notice.
  • Submit claims via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transaction (such as an 837I or 837P).
  • Documentation related to the medical care may be required prior to claim processing.
Filing deadlines for emergency care claims
Claim Filing Deadlines
Service-Connected Condition Nonservice-Connected Condition
Claims must be submitted to VA within two (2) years of the date emergency medical care was received. However, filing the claim as soon as possible after care has been provided is highly recommended because it helps ensure that all required documentation is readily available and that providers receive their payment in a timely manner. Claims must be submitted to VA within 90 days of the date of discharge, or 90 days from the date that all attempts to receive required payments from a liable third party are completed and not successful in eliminating the Veteran’s personal liability to the provider. A liable third party includes other health insurers, worker’s compensation, civil litigation, etc.
Payment rates for emegency care claims
Payment Rates
Service-Connected Condition Nonservice-Connected Condition
Generally, 100% Medicare rates Generally, 70% Medicare rates

For more information about emergency care claims, call your nearest VA medical facility. The VA Facility Locator can help find a facility and key staff information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does it matter if care is authorized by VA?

By law, non-emergent care provided by community providers must be formally authorized by VA prior to care being rendered for VA to assume financial responsibility for that care.

If you are authorized to provide care to a Veteran, paid for by VA, you will receive a hard-copy authorization. Unlike other Federal payers, such as Medicare, Tricare, and in some cases CHAMPVA, VA must authorize the care in advance to ensure the Veteran meets the clinical and administrative eligibility requirements.

When is VA the primary payer for community care?

VA is the primary and sole payer when VA issues an authorization. In rare instances, VA may become secondary payer for nonservice-connected emergency care. VA is legally prohibited from paying Veteran copayments, deductibles, co-shares, and co-insurance.

How do I determine which VA Medical Center has jurisdiction over emergency care?

It is extremely important for you to contact the VA medical center closest to where the emergency care is provided as soon as possible and within 72 hours so that:

  • Veteran receives continuity of care
  • VA can assist with transfer to a VA medical facility once the Veteran is stable for transfer
  • VA may evaluate the Veteran’s eligibility and issue an authorization if the Veteran meets the eligibility criteria for approval under 38 USC §1703

To determine which VA medical center is nearest, please use the VA Facility Locator to help find a facility and key staff information.

Who do I contact if I have a question about an authorization, extension of a previously issued authorization, or if I do not hear back from the VA medical center about an authorization for emergency care?

The community provider should reach out to the VA Medical Center that issued the authorization. If the care was emergent and not preauthorized, please reach out to the VAMC nearest to where the care was rendered.

Is the authorization number required on the claim when I submit it?

Yes, the authorization number is required on claims for preauthorized care submitted to VA for payment. This additional claim data will enable faster claims processing for authorized care. The criteria for adding the authorization number is located above.

See the Authorization Annotation Requirement listed above.

How do I learn about upcoming educational events for community providers hosted by VA?

Please visit our Provider Education and Training Resources page for upcoming events. You can also be notified of upcoming events by signing up to receive email updates.

Provider Education and TrainingSign up for Provider Updates

Contact Us

Customer Call Center: 877-881-7618
Monday–Friday, 8:05 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Claims and Adjudication Questions:
Contact a member of the Claims and Adjudication Team