Did you know more than 9 million VA health care appointments go unutilized each year due to missed appointments? To increase access to health care for all Veterans, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has developed VEText, an interactive mobile solution to remind Veterans of upcoming appointments via text messaging. Our goal is to offer Veterans a quick and easy way to confirm and/or cancel appointments.
Veterans throughout the nation are receiving interactive VEText appointment reminders on their mobile devices. Every enrolled Veteran with a cell phone number listed in their health record is automatically enrolled in the program, so it is very important for Veterans to ensure that your local VA medical center (VAMC) has your current phone numbers. Veterans may update their phone numbers during check-in at their next appointment, or use the self-service kiosks located throughout VA facilities.
The first text message reminder will be sent seven days before the appointment, and a second reminder text message will be sent two days before the appointment. The timing/frequency of the reminders may vary by facility. Veterans should review the date and time of each appointment and use the prompts provided in the message to either confirm or cancel the appointment. Veterans with multiple appointments on the same day will receive multiple text message appointment reminders.
In addition to text message appointment reminders, VEText now offers earlier appointment slots for Veterans meeting certain criteria (wait time, service connected, etc.). This feature is called Open Slot Management (OSM). Veterans will automatically receive these text message as long they have not opt-ed out of the VEText program. This feature allows Veterans to reschedule their appointment for an earlier available appointment. By using the prompts provided in the message, the Veteran can either reschedule or keep their current appointment. If the Veteran chooses to reschedule their current appointment, VEText will book/schedule the Veteran into the earlier slot and cancel the previously scheduled appointment.
The VEText system also has an easy to use opt-out process for Veterans who do not want to receive text messaging reminders. To opt-out, simply reply “STOP” to the text message. Additionally, all appointment reminder messages contain instructions on how to end the message delivery. If you want to restart the text message appointment reminders at any time, simply text "START" to a previous text message from VEText and the service will resume.
VEText works for VA health care appointments only and these text messages do not currently replace the letters and automated phone calls Veterans already receive for appointment reminders.
Text messaging rates may apply depending on your individual cell phone plan.
Still have questions? Read our VEText FAQs.