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Local Clinic Realignment Provides First Step to Enhancing Veteran Healthcare

PRESS RELEASE

May 25, 2021

Albany , NY — VA To Boost Capital Region Access to Primary, Specialty and Community Services

Albany, NY – The Department of Veterans Affairs is proud to be able to serve our nation’s Veterans by providing the best comprehensive care available, resulting in improvements in access to primary care, more specialty care, Telemedicine, medical advances including coronary artery stenting, robotic surgery, and advanced endoscopy, significant growth in mental health services, and a care network to keep Veterans at home. 

In order to maximize accessibility to VA care, reduce overlap of services within the 30-minute drive time as prescribed by the MISSION Act, and enhance and expand services for Veterans in the Capital Region, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Albany Stratton VAMC is realigning VA services to provide Veterans with greater access and enhanced care opportunities, allowing VA the ability to reinvest local savings by adding available care options from both VA and from local communities.  This includes improvements to Patient Aligned Care Teams, Telemedicine expansion, Telehealth including Telenutrition and Telepharmacy; investments in programs such as Home Based Primary Care and Adult Day Health Care; and increased opportunities for local community partnerships for services such as advanced medical imaging, physical therapy, and community nursing homes located closer to where Veterans live throughout Capital Region communities. 

“VA is proud to be able to serve all our nation’s Veterans by providing the best comprehensive care available and remains committed to providing high-quality health care for the Veterans to the easter section of Upstate New York, including Albany, Rensselear and Schenectady Counties directly, as well as Veterans choosing to utilize the CBOC from bordering Counties,” said Darlene DeLancey, Stratton VA Executive Director.  “Realigning our services enables us to enhance, improve, and support Veteran health programs and initiatives, allowing for the elimination of overlap services at nearby locations and providing the ability to reinvest those funds locally.”

Founded in 1999, the utilization of the Troy CBOC has steadily decreased from serving a high of 1,460 Veterans to 1,133 Veterans currently.  The Veterans Affairs Enrollee Health Care Projection Model (EHCPM) demonstrates a declining Veteran and enrollee forecasts in NY for all future years within the model, as much as a 20.6% decrease in 2038.  Rensselaer County specifically has a projected 21.7% decrease in enrollees, which show the greatest decreases in Rensselaer County where the Troy CBOC is located. 

At the expiration of the Troy CBOC contract, VA successfully negotiated contract extensions in order to allow additional time for a full review of the viability of the CBOC while continuing to provide services to Veterans at the Troy CBOC location.  The review accounted for Veteran demographics including both VA enrolled and non-enrolled Veterans, the viability of the clinic, accessibility to Veterans, and the CBOC’s ability to provide the same level of services provided Veterans at other VA CBOCs. 

Under the realignment plan, Troy CBOC patients will receive personal letters from Medical Center Director DeLancey with information regarding how to transfer care to the CBOC of their choice.  Veterans receiving care at the Troy CBOC are encouraged to transfer their care to the nearby medical center located within 9-miles of the Troy CBOC, or one of the nearby CBOCs including Clifton Park and Schenectady, which are located within 15-miles of the Troy CBOC, each offering primary care services in addition to integrated behavioral health services, Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs), have Telemedicine and Telehealth capabilities, and appropriate staffing and physical space to absorb the current Troy workload.

The Stratton VA is eager to continue to serve our Veteran’s needs.  Realignment of services will ensure Capital District Veterans receive the best in healthcare through maximized access, enhanced services, and local reinvestment.

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