Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Handbook
Community Hospice Care: Referral and Purchase Procedures
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Handbook describes the procedures for the referral and purchase of hospice services from community providers, including hospice care provided at home or in an institution as an inpatient. It describes the options and procedures for meeting the hospice needs of enrolled veterans through the working relationships between Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities and community hospice agencies.
The Handbook specifies:
- The process for referring a veteran to a community agency for hospice care.
- The coverage and payment structure for purchased hospice care.
- VA’s options for providing or purchasing inpatient hospice care.
Each county has a local Veterans Services Officer who can provide information and services to Veterans living in the county. They assist Veterans and their dependents in filing claims, obtaining important documents, and determining eligibility for the benefits and services they have a legal right to. The agencies frequently aid Veterans and their families in obtaining state and federal entitlements such as medical care, disability and compensation, pension, education benefits, burial assistance and military funeral services. Links for individual counties are listed here.
Veteran Service Organizations are one of the best places for veterans to go for help. There are hundreds of VSOs out there, including organizations at the local, state, regional, and national levels. The VA has a published a 128 page guide listing VSOs (Please note this is not a comprehensive list of every Veteran Service Organization). Many of these organizations offer veterans a variety of services, including VA disability benefits claims assistance, education and job training, job fairs, resume writing services, financial grants, opportunities to participate in community service projects, and more. In most cases, these services are free. The best part is you get to tap into the experience and expertise of service officers who have been there, done that, walk the walk, talk the talk, and know how and where to get help. If these organizations can’t help you, they can certainly put you into contact with someone who can.
New York State has two Veterans Integrated Service Networks: VISN2 (Upstate) and VISN3 (Downstate). There are 9 VA Medical Centers with nursing homes and outpatient clinics. Palliative Care Consults are available at all settings and levels of care.