Lourdes Expands Military Partnership with Veterans

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New Program Provides Alternative to VA Services

'We have extensive experience providing care to service members at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and elsewhere, so participating in the PC3 program is a natural part of our mission.'

Lourdes Health System has partnered with a federal program to provide enhanced access and reduced wait times for veterans needing medical care.

Lourdes is one of only six hospital systems in the state—and the only one in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester counties—participating in the HealthNet Federal Services Patient-Centered Community Care program (PC3). PC3 gives veterans access to specialty care when the local Veterans Administration (VA) hospital cannot provide services due to lack of available specialists, long wait times or when there is an extraordinary distance from the patient’s home.

“It is unfortunate that our military veterans often have to wait weeks or months to get care,” said Alexander J. Hatala, Lourdes Health System President and CEO. “We have extensive experience providing care to service members at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and elsewhere, so participating in the PC3 program is a natural part of our mission. It is an honor to serve the men and women whose service and dedication preserve our freedom.”

Lourdes is contracted to provide services to veterans under PC3 in Gloucester, Camden, Burlington and Mercer counties, parts of Ocean County, parts of Bucks County and Philadelphia.

If an eligible veteran visits a VA provider and needs specialty care unavailable at the VA or the VA cannot meet the wait time standards, the veteran is then referred to the PC3 network. Following the normal referral process, Lourdes’ Department of Military Affairs patient navigators make an appointment and the veteran is seen by a physician or services are rendered within 48 hours—sometimes the same day if necessary.

Healthcare services covered under the new program (PC3) include:

  •     Pathology
  •     Radiology
  •     Surgery
  •     Oncology
  •     Gastroenterology
  •     Cardiology
  •     Skilled home health care
  •     Rehabilitation medicine
  •     Inpatient rehabilitation
  •     Behavioral health
  •     Inpatient behavioral health
  •     Labor and delivery
  •     Emergency services
  •     Blind/Low vision rehabilitation

“This comprehensive program addresses many of the healthcare needs veterans face but have a difficult time accessing through the VA in a timely manner,” said Hatala. “We work to ensure military patients, both active-duty and veterans, are seen quickly by a physician and receive our highest quality, coordinated care.”

Lourdes Health System has been actively involved with the military since 2001, providing pre- and post-deployment medical care to service members at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

In 2012, Lourdes opened the area’s only inpatient behavioral health program specially designed for active-duty military personnel, veterans and their dependents. Living Springs is a 21-bed unit at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County that helps patients overcome issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorders and other emotional trauma. Patients benefit from a combination of mainstream medicine and complementary therapies to support a healthy lifestyle.

In addition, the health system is set to open LourdesCare at New Hanover. Located only a half-mile from the main McGuire Air Force Base entrance, the facility will make accessing health care as convenient as possible for service members and their dependents. Not only will LourdesCare provide services that are limited or unavailable at the base, such as MRI and physical therapy, patients will not have to travel far from home or work to access care.

“Our military is deeply focused on its mission, and so are we,” said Hatala. “We do whatever it takes to ensure our active-duty service members and veterans receive the prompt and top-notch care they deserve.”

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Jennifer McGowan-Smith
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