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.
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.
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 410-605-7333 to cancel and reschedule your appointment.
Veteran Health Identification Cards
Once you are enrolled for VA health care, you can request a Veteran Health Identification Card. Like a typical health insurance card, the VHIC signifies your enrollment in VA health care and helps to safeguard your personal information. The VHIC is used as proof of identity and to check-in for appointments at VA health care facilities. While the card is not required to receive health care, VA recommends all enrolled Veterans have one.
If you do not have a VHIC, you can use a valid government-issued photo ID, like a driver’s license, to check in for VA clinic appointments.
For information about how to obtain your VHIC, please call:
Baltimore VA Medical Center: 410-605-7324
Perry Point VA Medical Center: 410-642-2411, ext. 22477
Pharmacy Service & 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You may be eligible for mileage reimbursement or special mode transport in association with obtaining VA health care 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.