Veterans, VA, and Social Determinants of Health

At BeneLynk we understand veterans and we understand Medicare.  Some members of our management team have worked for decades in Medicare.  Some, like me, have more experience in the world of veterans and veteran benefits.  Our experience informs our work toward our mission.  BeneLynk’s mission is “To improve lives and positively impact Social Determinants of Health barriers by providing our healthcare partners with the information they need, and people with the advocacy they deserve.”

As part of our aggressive engagement journey, I’ve traveled to 27 states in just ten months’ time. The road to improving veteran lives begins when we help our healthcare partners to identify their veteran members.  Once known, we’re able to reach out to those members and provide insight to available benefits.  As a combat veteran myself, it is extremely gratifying know we’re assisting veterans that served before me, and that we’re able to make a positive impact to their lives.

While my BeneLynk colleagues are engaging those veteran members directly, learning about their life experiences and more, I traveled to 59 VA Hospitals and Medical Centers. There, I met with VA leaders and had a chance to not only build relationships, but to learn more about their processes and to be transparent about how we can assist our mutual customer, the veteran, in a much more efficient manner.

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BeneLynk VA Facilities Visited One or More Times (as of 2/28/2020)

We have learned quite a bit from my travels to the VA facilities.  My personal perspective of the VA has changed from uncertainty to an exceedingly positive one. I’ve encountered so many caring VA employees and found out most are veterans themselves.  I’ve been able to speak to and have heard many amazing stories from veterans receiving care at the facilities, again with positive feedback.

Many still perceive the VA as a behemoth, uncaring entity, full of folks that don’t know what their doing.  Fortunately, that’s quite far from the truth.  Don’t get me wrong, like many large organizations (the VA is the largest integrated health system in the country), they have their fair share of issues…and it doesn’t help when their organizational leadership & priorities change a lot more often than a typical healthcare company will. 

Our Managed Care partners are committed to their veteran members, and to advocating for their needs.  Together, BeneLynk and our MCO partners will continue our journey to deliver superior Social Determinant of Health solutions to veteran members.   

James Tongate

BeneLynk Vice President of Government Relations