During Fiscal Year 2021-2022, from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022, the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Health Care Advocacy Department (HCAD) closed over 11,300 cases in which a veteran came to them with a medical issue and HCAD resolved it or connected the veteran with a “warm handoff” to someone who did. Additionally, HCAD saved veterans a combined total of over $709,000 by resolving issues with VHA (Veterans Health Administration) and non-VHA billings.
HCAD doesn’t just wait for veterans to come to them. Its Health Care Advocates (HCAs) get out in the community and attend events specifically to connect with veterans. HCAs participated in over 1,000 outreach efforts including speaking at various organizations, visiting places where veterans congregate and seek services, setting up tables or booths at events, and focusing on homeless veterans.
“I am consistently proud of the hard work our people have put forth this fiscal year ,” said Gary Lee, TVC HCAD Director and Marine Corps veteran, pictured. “I’m personally proud of the outreach events conducted in support of the agency’s effort to combat a statewide and nationwide homeless veteran issue. In addition to the Veterans Mental Health Department hiring designated specialists, HCAD set an internal goal of 103 outreaches to be focused specifically on homeless veterans. To date, we’ve conducted 117 by ‘meeting them where they are’, including shelters, food banks, and organizations that assist the homeless.”
Lee noted that homeless veterans face a considerable challenge with continuity of care, as many don’t have mailing addresses and lack methods to maintain contact them, such as phones.
Another point of pride for the HCAD team is that their work exceeded Legislative requirements during a time that HCAD had to overcome expansion and hiring challenges that presented themselves.
The number of HCAs was expanded by the Texas Legislature in 2021. Subsequently, the Legislature set higher performance measures for the TVC HCAD, which it exceeded. This includes the Legislative goal of 9,500 closed cases in FY 2022, which the HCAD exceeded with over 11,300 cases closed. Additionally, the Legislature set an outreach goal for the TVC HCAD of 950; this has been exceeded by the HCAD conducting over 1,000 events. Their Director credits this to the HCAD’s District Supervisors and senior HCAs providing leadership to newly-hired HCAs, resulting in remarkable service to the veterans of this great state.
HCAs assist Texas veterans to resolve VA health care issues such as: enrollment, appointments, billing, RX, Care in the Community / MISSION Act assistance, MRIs/X-rays/lab tests and more. Find the HCA in your area.