MANCHESTER — Eligible veterans now can visit more than 80 local urgent care clinics where they can receive walk-in care for minor health problems, the Manchester VA Medical Center announced Tuesday.
Hospital-associated urgent care clinics and urgent care clinics run by companies such as Concentra, MinuteClinic and ClearChoiceMC are included in the network.
Expanded access to urgent care was part of the Mission Act, a 2018 law designed to speed urgent care to veterans in their own communities.
“With more choice than ever before, our work and commitment to veterans is to provide access to quality and timely care that meets their needs and is close to home,” said Alfred Montoya, director of the Manchester VA, in a statement Tuesday.
The Manchester VA operates its own urgent care clinic that’s open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday’s announcement represents another effort by the VA to expand access beyond traditional VA hospitals and clinics.
Earlier this decade, the Obama administration launched Veterans Choice, which drew initial criticisms from both veterans and health care providers over problems with red tape. In 2017, the Manchester VA allowed its physicians to practice in other hospitals after a water pipe break temporarily disabled its Queen City facility.
Vision 2025 Task Force recommendations adopted last year for the Manchester VA call for concentrating veteran-oriented specialty fields, such as amputation care, at the Manchester campus and offering options outside the VA campus for more traditional health care issues.
Veterans do not need prior authorization to visit an urgent care provider, but the provider must be part of the network and a veteran must be eligible for care and enrolled in the VA system.
Eligibility and enrollment questions can be answered at 1-800-892-8384. A map of eligible providers is available at the Manchester VA’s website, manchester.va.gov.
“Our aim is to provide exceptional service that encourages veterans to choose Manchester VA for their health care. Our work is to complement that care with a network of MISSION Act community care locations that cover the entire Granite State,” Montoya said.