Fayetteville VA and Womack Army Medical Centers Combine Resources
November 29, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- VA and DOD enrollees in the greater Fayetteville area can expect to see a new, $6.7 million state-of-the-art Community Rehabilitation Clinic. The Community Rehabilitation Clinic will provide outpatient services for physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology. Fayetteville VA Medical Center (VAMC) together with Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) will proceed with site selection and leased space for the clinic with the expected move in date yet to be determined.
News of funding for the project came from the federal government's Health Executive Council (HEC). HEC is co-chaired by VA's Under Secretary for Health and DOD's Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs; council members include senior leaders from both departments. A provision of the FY 2003 National Defense Authorization Act requires DOD and VA to establish a joint incentives program, through the creation of a DOD-VA Health Care Sharing incentive fund, regularly referred to as the Joint Incentive Fund (JIF). The intent of the program is to identify, fund and evaluate creative local, regional and national sharing initiatives.
The Joint Committee for Resource Sharing, comprised of Fayetteville VAMC and WAMC staff, is a partnership that meets regularly to explore areas for improved beneficiary access while realizing efficiencies in their health care operations. The JIF proposal for the Community Rehabilitation Clinic was jointly developed and forwarded for approval through this committee.
"The financial award will be shared between Fayetteville VAMC and WAMC and used as start-up funds to get the clinic up and running. Co-locating DOD/VA care to one familiar location for Soldiers and Veterans exemplifies how our medical centers work together to improve access to care, patient satisfaction and provide cost effective resource sharing," said Director Fayetteville VAMC, Elizabeth Goolsby.
Estimated patient care will include 62,000 visits per year allowing greater control of the quality of care delivered, an improved patient care process and improved efficiencies for both VA and DOD. The new jointly-operated outpatient clinic will employ eight physical therapists, three occupational therapists, one speech pathologist, and 13 therapy technicians to jointly increase our capabilities, offset purchased care services and reduce total costs. Currently active duty Soldiers receive care at a DOD facility. When discharged from active duty, Soldiers must seek care through the VA system.
"The new clinic will help meet the ever increasing demand for rehabilitative services due to increasing patient populations in both the VA and DOD. This will also enhance the continuity of care for Soldiers requiring rehabilitative services as they transition to Veteran status," said WAMC Commander, Col. Steven Brewster.
The expansion in rehabilitative services for Soldiers extends to Womack's Active Duty Family Members and Retirees. Expanded capacities allow these beneficiaries to receive these services within the Womack direct care system so the primary care manager has the ability to manage their patient's complete medical needs with an electronic medical record system.
Womack provides healthcare to more than 225,000 eligible and the 117,000 TRICARE enrolled in the Fort Bragg area. Aggressive initiatives such as this clinic are underway at WAMC to increase access to care and improve the way in which care is delivered.