In May 2017, nearly one month after we announced Solv to the world, I was doing something non-standard for a San Francisco based start-up founder. I was knocking on doors on Capitol Hill trying to understand how Congress was thinking about providing healthcare access to Veterans, and wondering what we could do to help.
Some backstory to help connect the dots – in 2000, I was a staffer on the late Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign. Riding the Straight Talk Express, I got the incredible opportunity to meet Veterans from New Hampshire to South Carolina at campaign events. They turned up at all hours of the day and night when the Straight Talk Express bus rolled through town, and one consistent question I heard over and over was why ensuring access to high quality healthcare wasn’t a priority.
Fast forward to Solv, I’d started a company focused on providing consumers with access, control, and convenience in their everyday healthcare experience. And I wondered why Veterans were still excluded the opportunity to see a provider today, within hours, versus their average 22.5-day wait for an appointment at the VA. The lack of accessible options for Vets seemed only more outrageous when you consider that options for convenient and accessible care exist, but the coverage and access to that care did not.
Enter the VA MISSION Act of 2018
Two years after my visit to The Hill, it appears that sensible voices had prevailed with the creation of the VA MISSION Act of 2018. As of June 6, 2019, Veterans would be able to access urgent care clinics in their communities without a referral through a new urgent care benefit. This benefit is intended to augment the access points to care that exist for those who have served, and enable Veterans to get high quality healthcare in their communities, in addition to the care that they receive from the VA.
So on this Veterans Day, I’m excited to announce that Solv is making a commitment to Veterans across the United States, doing our part in ensuring quality care is no more than a few simple taps away on your phone.
We’ve created a dedicated portal as a starting point, looking at the thousands of urgent care and retail locations in the country that are currently a VA authorized urgent care provider, contracted through TriWest. Our hope is to build this database, and ensure that Veterans can access the care they need, get in front of a provider within the hour, and have an exceptional patient experience.
Many national and larger regional clinic groups have already contracted through TriWest, including retail clinics like CVS MinuteClinic and Walgreens Healthcare Clinic, as well as urgent care groups including FastMed, NextCare, AFC, Urgent Team, MedExpress, and more. In total, more than 3,000 clinics are now in the VA’s contract network with more being authorized each week.
If your urgent care center is a VA authorized urgent care provider, ensure your are identified as such on our app by claiming your clinic(s).
If you are not yet contracted to be part of the VA’s Community Care Program, you can apply through TriWest today.
Explore our full series on the State of American Healthcare
Part 1: Veteran Care
Part 2: Accessibility
Part 3: Costs
Part 4: The Staff Experience