VA System Information

VISN 19 — Rocky Mountain Network
4100 E. Mississippi Avenue, Suite 510
Glendale, CO 80246
Phone: (303) 756-9279
Fax: (303) 756-9243
http://www.visn19.va.gov/

About


The VA Rocky Mountain Network was established in March 1996 and is one of 21 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN). The Rocky Mountain Network Office is located in Glendale, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. The Network spans over 470,000 square miles across several states and is one of the largest networks in terms of geographic area. Its service area covers the entire state of Utah; and nearly all of Colorado, Montana and Wyoming; and portions of Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada and North Dakota. Network topography includes the Rocky Mountains, and areas subject to extreme winter weather. From late fall through spring, travel in the area is often difficult and sometimes impossible due to severe snow, wind and occasional road closures.

Health care delivery is influenced by many factors, including the large geographic area, a wide range in population density and socioeconomic conditions. The population varies from large urban areas such as Denver, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah to rural and even frontier areas, especially in Montana and Wyoming. Significant portions of the Rocky Mountain Network population have an income below the poverty level and much of the service area is designated as “Health Manpower Shortage Areas” especially for primary care and mental health services.

Network Facilities


The Network facilities include:
VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System
VAMC Grand Junction, Colorado
VA Montana Healthcare System, Montana
VAMC Salt Lake City, Utah
VAMCs Cheyenne, Wyoming
VAMCs Sheridan, Wyoming

Four facilities/Health Care Systems — Cheyenne, WY; Denver, CO; VA Montana HCS, MT; and VA Salt Lake City HCS, UT — have active academic affiliations with medical schools and graduate medical education practice programs. These relationships allow for the education and training of medical students and house staff in VA healthcare facilities. The hospitals at Denver, CO and Salt Lake City, UT are large highly affiliated tertiary facilities.

VISN 19 Community Sites of Care (download PDF)
VISN 19 State Veterans Nursing Homes (download PDF)
VISN 19 Patient Service Areas (download PDF)

Veteran's Resource Links

Benefits Information


For more detailed information or if you need personal assistance with your VA benefits, please contact PVA’s National Service Office at 303-914-5590 or toll free at 1-800-795-3588.

VA Benefits & Compensation

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act One-Time Economic Recovery Payment The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act was signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009. This law provides for a one-time economic recovery payment of $250. Eligible recipients are individuals who receive Veterans’ Compensation and Pension benefits, Social Security, and/or Supplemental Security Income. The one-time payment should be received by the end of May 2009.

Read Fact Sheet

Summary of VA Benefits

2009 Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents

VA Compensation and Benefits Handbook

2009 VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

2009 VA Parents Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

2009 VA Disability Compensation Rates

2009 Veterans’ Death Pension

2009 Veterans’ Pensions


Health Care Resources

My Health-e-Vet: 24/7 Online Access to your Health Care

You and Your Doctor

VA Outpatient Dental Treatment


Tax Information

Colorado Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans Application

Wyoming Property Tax Exemption Application

VA News

Travel Reimbursement Increases for Some Veterans

In January, service-disabled and low-income veterans who are reimbursed for travel expenses while receiving care at VA facilities saw an increase in their payments. The deductibles were decreased to $3 for each one-way trip and $6 for each round trip, with a cap of $18 per month, or six one-way trips or three round trips, whichever comes first. VA can waive deductibles if they cause financial hardship.

VA Assisting Veterans with Health Care Costs

The VA is offering an assortment of programs that can relieve the costs of health care costs for veterans struggling financially due to job loss or decreased income. Veterans whose previous income was ruled too high for VA health care may be able to enter the VA system based if their current year’s income is projected to fall below federal income thresholds. Veterans determined eligible due to hardship can avoid co-pays applied to higher income veterans. Finally, qualifying veterans may be eligible for enrollment and receive health care. Eligible no-cost care veterans who recently returned from a combat zone are entitled to five years of free VA care. For more information, contact VA’s Health Benefits Service Center at 1-877-222–VETS (8387).

VA to Offer Care to Previously Ineligible Veterans

By July 2009, the VA plans to re-open enrollment in its health care system to about 265,000 veterans whose incomes exceed the current VA means test and geographic means test income thresholds by 10 percent or less. VA originally suspended enrollment for Priority 8 veterans because it was unable to provide all enrolled veterans with timely access to its health care due to a tremendous growth in the number of veterans then seeking enrollment. VA now plans to reopen enrollment for a portion of these veterans without compromising the Department’s ability to provide high quality health care services to all enrolled veterans who are eligible for care.

VA Announces $22 Million for Rural Veterans

The VA has provided $21.7 million to its regional health care systems to improve services specifically designed for veterans in rural areas. The extra funding is part of a two-year VA program to improve the access and quality of health care for veterans in geographically isolated areas. The new funds will be used to increase the number of mobile clinics, establish new outpatient clinics, expand fee-based care, explore collaborations with federal and community partners, accelerate the use of telemedicine deployment, and fund innovative pilot programs. It will be distributed according to the proportion of veterans living in rural areas within each VA regional network. The Rocky Mountain Network (VISN 19) population of rural veterans ranges between 3-6% and therefore will receive $1 million.

One Million Vets Share $320 Million in VA Insurance Dividends

VA operates one of the nation’s largest life insurance programs, providing more than $1 trillion in coverage to seven million service members, veterans and family members. During 2009, one million veterans are in line to share $319.8 million in annual insurance dividends, according to the VA. The dividends come from earnings of trust funds into which veterans have paid insurance premiums over the years, and are linked to returns on investments in U.S. government securities. Here is breakdown among veterans:

· World War II veterans holding National Service Life Insurance (“V”) policies comprise the largest group receiving 2009 insurance dividend payments, which will be approximately $243.8 million.

· World War II-era veterans who have Veterans Reopened Insurance (“J”, “JR”, and “JS”) policies will receive dividends of $8.1 million.

· Korean War era veterans who have maintained Veterans Special Life Insurance (“RS” and “W”) policies can expect to receive $67.2 million in dividends.

· Post World War I through 1940 veterans who hold U.S. Government Life Insurance (“K”) policies will receive dividends totaling $725,000.

Veterans who have questions may contact the VA insurance toll free at 1-800-669-8477 or send an email to VAinsurance@va.gov or visit the Internet at www.insurance.va.gov.

VA Establishes ALS as a Presumptive Compensable Illness

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is become a presumptively compensable illness for all veterans with 90 days or more of continuously active service in the military. Secretary Peake based his decision primarily on a November 2006 report by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine on the association between active-duty service and ALS. The Secretary states that veterans are developing ALS in rates higher than the general public.

Due to the diseases rapidly progressing tendencies, there is not the time to develop the evidence needs to support compensation claims. The Secretary’s decision will make those claims much easier to process and will allow families to receive the compensation more quickly. The new interim final regulation applies to all application for benefits received by the VA on or after September 23, 2008, or that are pending before the VA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on that date.

VA Urges Vets to Sign Up for Direct Deposit

Nearly 730,000 veterans receive compensation, pension checks or educational assistance payments in the mail each month. To prevent theft and mail delays, the VA is urging those veterans and family members to sign-up to have their payments safely deposited electronically. To sign up for direct deposit call VA toll-free at 1-800-333-1795 or enroll online at www.GoDirect.org. Veterans and family members can also contact a VA regional benefits office or their financial institution. The VA Secretary urges veterans to remember that direct deposits relieve worry about mail delivery being delayed. The deposits also eliminate trips to the bank to deposit checks, while providing immediate access to money at the same time each month.

Helpful Tips for Transfer of OIF/OEF Personnel from Active Duty

During the difficult time of transferring injured personnel
to VA facilities there are several helpful measures
that will ensure a much smoother
transition. First, ensure that proper communication with physicians,
nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals has been
conducted. By ensuring that personnel at the receiving facility have
communicated with counterparts at the previous facility, many misunderstandings
regarding background information, prognosis, and path to recovery
may be avoided. Second, be sure to inquire about health
care options after
discharge as the patient may be eligible for other health insurance,
such as TRI-CARE.  All care provided on or after January 1st,
2007 should have claims submitted to one of the three MCSC regional
offices.

VA to Pilot Remote Benefits Delivery Program
in Rural Montana 

The VA will now be able to better
serve rural Montana veterans with easier access to benefits information
and assistance through an innovative, first-of-its-kind remote benefits
delivery pilot program using video conferencing technology and staff
support. Veterans who do not live near Fort Harrison VA regional benefits
office will now be able to visit the Valley Veterans Service Center
(VVSC) in Hamilton to receive face-to-face assistance. VVSC will schedule
appointments with veterans on Fridays during normal business hours.
For more information, call (406)363-9538.

General Shinseki Writes Open Letter to Veterans

WASHINGTON – Following is an open letter to Veterans from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki:
"My name is Ric Shinseki, and I am a Veteran. For more, serving as Secretary of Veterans Affairs is a noble calling. It provides me the opportunity to give back to those who served with and for me during my 38 years in uniform and those on whose shoulders we all stood as we grew up in the profession of arms." Read more >>