On November 9, 2017 AARP, the Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation released a new report highlighting promising practices that support community living for veterans.
The report highlights the Veteran Directed Home and Community-Based Services program, with case studies from states including Missouri, Minnesota, Washington, and Connecticut. For example, in St. Louis, the VA Medical Center found that the program reduced emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and number of bed days of care. VD-HCBS is currently available in 36 states and territories and the VHA Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care has announced plans to roll the program out nationally over the next three years.
The report also highlights the COVER to COVER program developed in Utah to help connect veterans in rural communities with VA services by training No Wrong Door system staff to become experts on benefits available to veterans. Based on its success in Utah, the program has now expanded to Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon.
A third promising practice comes from New Hampshire, where the No Wrong Door system is helping lead the "Ask the Question" initiative to encourage civilian providers to ask as simple question, "Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” By engaging in this important conversation, services can be tailored to reflect the experiences of service members and their families, and they can be connected with resources they may not have known about.