District 20 Surgeon News

Hi all:
I’m sharing a new Fact Sheet that was just released today from the VHA Office of Community Care.  For more information, you may visit their website at: www.va.gov/CommunityCare/index.asp .   As we receive additional information, we will share with you.
Deborah Meyer
Public Affairs Officer (003)
Central Texas Veterans Health Care System
1901 Veterans Memorial Drive
Temple, TX 76504
Extension 42376
Office 254-743-2376
Cell 254-534-0304


Seal of the US Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Benefits Bulletin

June 2018

Paul Lawrence, Under Secretary for Benefits

New VA Under Secretary for Benefits Confirmed and Ready to Serve Our Veterans

“I am honored and humbled to be able to help serve our Nation’s Veterans,” remarked Paul R. Lawrence, Ph.D., the new Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Benefits said.
“We are indebted to them for their sacrifices, and owe them nothing less than to ensure they get the benefits they have earned.”

Read More

Learn How to RAMP Up the Speed of Your Claims Decisions

RAMP, AMO Director, Dave McLenachen

Watch the replay of our recent Facebook Live event all about the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program. Find out from Director Dave McLenachen how you can get a faster resolution on a disagreement with a VA decision.

Read More

Find Approved Educational Facilities in a Few Clicks

VA GIBill, Two students sitting

We’ve made it easy for you to locate approved institutions where you can use your VA education benefits. Our School Locator tool allows you to enter search terms and click on a map to generate results by state.

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Document your exposure on the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry

Female Service member discarding materials in a burn pit

Burn pits were a common way to get rid of waste at military sites in Iraq and Afghanistan. Exposure to the smoke from these and other airborne hazards are being documented and tracked to determine if there are long-term health effects. Veterans who served in these areas are urged to complete the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry survey.

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Find Local Events with VBA’s Event Calendar

Stay on top of what’s happening in the Veteran community with our Events page. You’ll find a listing of expos, clinics and conferences around the country that can help you connect with other Veterans, learn more about your benefits and how to maximize them, and even receive assistance with claims filing.

Find local events & happenings

Stay up to date on Veteran employment information

Get stats delivered directly to your inbox by subscribing to the Department of Labor’s VETS monthly Veteran Employment Update.


As of this afternoon (2 Jan 18), the DHA Front Office has made a final decision on urgent care referrals. As specified below, the decision to move forward with unlimited urgent care visits will be effective 15 Jan 18, but will be retroactive to 1 Jan 18. Recommend maintaining status quo until 15 Jan 18 in order to avoid complications.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, TRICARE Prime enrollees other than active duty service members (ADSM) no longer need a referral for urgent care visits, and point of services charges no longer apply for urgent care.

ADSMs and ADFMs enrolled in TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Prime/Prime Remote and seeking urgent care overseas must obtain an authorization from the TOP contractor to ensure their urgent care visit will be cashless and claimless. Without a prior authorization, overseas providers may request payment upfront and the beneficiary will then have to submit a claim for reimbursement. The contractor will process the claim with no point of service charge.

Similarly, ADFMs enrolled in Prime in the U.S. but traveling overseas must contact the TOP contractor to obtain an authorization to ensure their urgent care visit will be cashless and claimless. The contractor will process the claim with no point of service charge.

ADSMs enrolled in TOP Prime/Prime Remote who are TDY or on leave in the U.S. may access urgent care without a referral or authorization.

If you have questions, please contact me (at contact information bellow) or Maj Joseph Sanchez 703-681-7872 (DSN 761) or joseph.l.sanchez6.mil@mail.mil.

Director, Access to Care Program
Office of the Air Force Surgeon General (AFMSA/SG3S)
7700 Arlington Blvd, STE 5158,
Falls Church, VA 22042-5158
Cubicle: 4NW348B
Comm: (703) 681-7866 DSN: (312) 761-7866
Email: david.p.abbott2.mil@mail.mil

Take Command_Updates to TRICARE Manuals_Annex_DRAFT_12-20-17_FINAL_UPDAT.._