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New Patient Orientation

As a newly enrolled patient, you may have questions about what to do next. Our online New Patient Orientation Guide, which is listed below, provides important information and guidance to help you navigate our health care system and to begin accessing services.

Overview of the VA Maryland Health Care System

Choosing Your Preferred Site of Care

As part of the enrollment process, Veterans were given the opportunity to select the VA medical center or community based outpatient clinic where they prefer to be seen. Veterans can also confirm their preferred facility when they call the Appointment Center to schedule their first VA primary care appointment.

Facilities List

Scheduling Your First Primary Care Appointment

Find out how to make, cancel, or reschedule a primary care, mental health, or specialty care appointment at a VA Maryland health care facility.

Make an appointment

VA Priority Groups

All Veterans who enroll for VA health care services are assigned to one of eight priority groups based on certain factors like service-connected disabilities and income level. This rating system helps ensure that VA resources are allocated to Veterans with the highest priority for VA care, with priority group 1 being the highest.

Learn more about VA Priority Groups.

VA Health Care Copay Rates

There is no monthly premium required to use VA health care, but you may have to agree to pay some co-payments based on your priority group and income level. If you have insurance, it may cover the cost of the co-payments. In addition, VA is required by law to bill your private insurance provider for any care you receive from the VA that is not related to a service-connected condition.

Learn more about VA Health Care Copays.

Preparing for your Appointment

Once you have your first VA primary care appointment scheduled, please plan to arrive 30 minutes early. If for any reason you cannot make your appointment, please call the Appointment Center at  to cancel and reschedule your appointment.

Learn More

Appointment Check-in Process

VA now offers a new patient check-in application with two options: pre-check-in and mobile check-in for your health care appointments.

Pre-check-in: After confirming your text appointment reminder, you may receive a link for pre-check-in. Pre-check-in allows you to review your contact information, emergency contact and next-of-kin up to seven days before your appointment, saving you time when you arrive for your appointment. If you’ve opted out of text appointment reminders, you can restart these reminders by texting “START” to 53079 or by replying “START” to any previous text message from VA.

Mobile check-in: To check-in for an appointment with mobile check-in once you’ve arrived at your appointment, just follow these three simple instructions to avoid standing in lines at the check-in desk:

1) Scan the QR code found on posters located in participating clinic areas or text “Check in” to 53079;

2) Wait until you get a text back with a link (this should only take a few seconds); and

3) Tap on the link to start your check-in. Once completed, you can have a seat and a VA staff member will come get you for your appointment.

If you don’t have a smart phone, or you need to update any of your information, please see a staff member at the check-in desk.

Veteran Health Identification Cards

A Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC) is a photo ID card you will use to check in for VA health care appointments. Like a typical health insurance card, the VHIC signifies your enrollment in VA health care and helps to safeguard your personal information. You can apply for a VHIC in person are online.

In Person

You can obtain a VHIC by reporting to the Enrollment Center on the 1st floor at the Baltimore VA Medical Center or the Admission Office in Building 361 at the Perry Point VA Medical Center. You will need to bring one form of primary identification (your driver’s license, passport or other federal, state or local photo ID with your address) and have your photo taken. The card will be mailed to you, usually within 7 to 10 days after the card has been requested. 


You can also apply for a VHIC online by visiting

For more information, or if your card is lost or stolen, call Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. 

My HealtheVet

My HealtheVet is a web-based tool you can use to manage your care and improve your health from your computer or mobile device. You can access your personal health records and use tools to manage your care through our My HealtheVet online system. You can also use My HealtheVet to refill your prescriptions, track appointments, and read informative health articles. If you need help using My HealtheVet, you can contact our coordinator by phone or in person. With My HealtheVet, you can:

  • Ask questions and exchange secure online messages with your VA health care team
  • Check your lab and test results
  • Refill your prescriptions, track delivery, and view a list of your medications
  • Keep track of your VA medical appointments and get email reminders
  • View, download, or print a copy of your VA medical records
  • Enter or update your personal information

My HealtheVet

Pharmacy Service and Prescription Refills

Find out how to refill your prescriptions, where to pick up new prescription orders, and how to safely dispose of your medicines at a VA Maryland health care facility.

Pharmacy Service & Prescription Refills

Primary Care and Your PACT Team

At VA, we take a team approach to health care—with you at the center. Research shows this kind of approach leads to better quality care, more satisfied patients, and fewer hospital visits. Find out who will care for you when you become part of the VA health care program.

Learn more

Emergency Department – Baltimore VA Medical Center

We provide emergency medical care 24 hours a day, every day. 

The Emergency Department at the Baltimore VA Medical Center treats approximately 26,000 patients annually for a broad spectrum of illnesses and injuries, some of which may be life-threatening.  All physicians in the Emergency Department are affiliated with University of Maryland School of Medicine.  

The Emergency Department also has the capabilities to provide emergency decontamination from exposure to radiation and other hazardous exposures, and to treat wounded patients from a mass casualty event or natural disaster.

Baltimore VA Medical Center 

Urgent Care Clinic – Perry Point VA Medical Center

The Urgent Care Clinic at the Perry Point VA Medical Center provides medical care for illnesses and injuries that require prompt attention, but are not life threatening or serious enough to require the services of an emergency room. The Urgent Care Clinic, which is located in Building 361, is open Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for walk-in visits (no appointments necessary).    The Urgent Care Clinic is closed on federal holidays.

The urgent care clinic is not a substitute for an emergency room, and it is not a good substitute for meeting routine primary care needs.

Perry Point VA Medical Center

Emergency Medical Care in the Community

You never know when you may need emergency medical care, so it's good to know what to do and where to go before an emergency situation happens.

Emergency Medical Care

Care in the Community (Non-VA Care)

VA provides care to Veterans through community providers when VA cannot provide the care needed. Community care is based on specific eligibility requirements, availability of VA care, and the needs and circumstances of individual Veterans. 

Learn More

Urgent Care in the Community

VA offers urgent care services to eligible Veterans at VA or at in-network urgent care clinics.

Urgent Care

Beneficiary Travel

You may be eligible for mileage reimbursement or special mode transport in association with obtaining VA health care services.

VA Travel Pay

Patient Concerns and Compliments

If you have a problem with the care you are receiving from the VA Maryland Health Care System, or you have a concern or compliment about the customer service provided by any staff members, our Patient Advocates will be happy to assist.

Patient Advocates

Telehealth Services

In addition to traditional face-to-face appointments, you may also have an opportunity to meet with your VA providers virtually through video or telephone appointments. To get started using VA Telehealth Services, talk with your VA provider.

Learn More

Women Veterans Health Services

VA welcomes women Veterans. We are committed to providing high-quality services in a sensitive and safe environment at all VA facilities. Women Veteran Program Managers are available at each VA medical center to assist women Veterans with questions and coordinate services.

Learn More

Mental Health Services

The VA Maryland Health Care System has a robust mental health program for Veterans. We help our community of Veterans who have experienced post-traumatic stress, military sexual trauma, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and more.

Learn More

Suicide Prevention and Veterans Crisis Line

Your life is worth it. Keep fighting and never give up. Every day, responders at the Veterans Crisis Line help people going through a crisis. Dial 988 then Press 1 – to reach qualified, caring responders who are ready to listen.

Suicide Prevention & Veterans Crisis Line

Specialty Care

A variety of specialty care services are available through the VA Maryland Health Care System.

Patients are generally referred to specialty care by a consult provided by their VA primary care provider. Each consult is reviewed and within seven days the patient is contacted and schedule for an appointment.

Learn More

Social Work Services

A social worker is part of your Patient-Aligned Care Team (PACT) that you are assigned when you have your first primary care appointment. Your social worker is your connection to a multitude of programs and services available through VA and in your local community.

VHA Social Work

Stay Connected with the VA Maryland Health Care System