Veteran Services- What's New


Flu Shot Update

Flu season is upon us and the VA Health Care System is offering free flu shots to enrolled veterans again this year.
Options for Veterans to get their flu shots include:

-During a regularly scheduled appointment at your VA Medical Center or Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC)
-At a walk-in flu shot clinic occurring on specific dates at VA Medical facilities (call Veteran Services for dates near you)
-At drive-up flu shot clinics again occurring on specific dates & locations (call Veteran Services for dates near you)
-At Community Care Network (CCN) pharmacies.  Use the VA Locator to find the nearest in-network pharmacy by going to: https://www.va.gov/find-locations or (call Veteran Services for assistance)

As always, McLeod County Veteran Services is available to answer your Flu Shot questions at (320) 864-1268 or mcleod.veterans@co.mcleod.mn.us 


Copays Billing Update

Veterans will start seeing new billing statements from Veterans Health Administration. The billing statement provides the following information:
1) Copays that existed prior to COVID-19
2) Copayments that accrued from April 6, 2020 through September 30, 2021 and that were waived. These copayments have not and will not be billed to the Veterans.
3) An ending balance that should reflect the same amount as the previous balance

If you would like to know the specific breakdown of copays from the previous balance, especially if that number is larger, contact the Health Resource Center not your VA Medical Center at (866) 393-9132. This number does NOT appear on the billing statement that Veterans will be receiving.


St. Cloud VA HCS Operations Update

Safe care remains our goal as we continue operations in an ongoing pandemic. Routine operating hours for most services at our locations are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mon. - Fri., closed weekends, and federal holidays.  Appointments are required. Walk-ins are reserved for urgent medical or psychological needs only. The Urgent Care Clinic at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center (VAMC) is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Mental Health Triage is available in Bldg. 111 at the St. Cloud VAMC from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or through the Urgent Care Clinic.

Prepare for a visit: Everyone entering our facilities is screened, and visitors are limited to one escort per Veteran. Face coverings (masks) are mandatory for in-person appointments. For some needs, you may be able to get care at home by phone or video. 

To find out more pertaining to St. Cloud's VA Medical Center click here.




VA Community Care Update for Veterans, Family Member and Caregivers


Emergency Visit Notification Call Center Now Available
In an emergency, Veterans should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. Veterans do not need to check with VA before calling for an ambulance or going to an emergency room. An important part of determining eligibility for VA payment for community emergency care visits is prompt notification of VA with three days of the visit. To help this process, starting June 8, 2020, VA has established a single national location, the Community Care Centralized Call Center, to accept reports of Veterans visits to an emergency department. VA is asking that all community hospitals and/or community providers notify the Call Center when a Veteran visits an emergency department. Community hospitals and providers can report emergency visits to VA either by email at: VHAEmergencyNotification@va.gov or by phone at 1-844-72HRVHA (844-724-7842).
Please print and keep the following reference card available so you or your family members can assist community hospitals in reporting this information:  Veteran Emergency Notification Reminder Card

Urgent Care Transitions from Tri-West to Optum
As part of the contractor transition underway in Community Care Network (CCN) Region 2, beginning June 30, 2020, community urgent care benefits will be solely administered by Optum instead of TriWest. While the contractor is changing there is no change to the urgent care benefit or the way Veterans access care. Eligible Veterans can receive care from an in-network community urgent care provider, the provider is part of VA's contracted network of providers, and services are not excluded under the benefit (excluded services include preventative services and dental services).

View complete VA Community Care Update here.