Emergency Care in Non-VA Facilities - Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Emergency Care in Non-VA Facilities

During a medical emergency, Veterans should immediately seek care at the nearest medical facility. A medical emergency is an injury, illness or symptom so severe that without immediate treatment, an individual believes his or her life or health is in danger. If a Veteran believes his or her life or health is in danger, call 911 or report to the nearest emergency department right away.

Veterans do not need to check with VA before calling for an ambulance or going to an emergency department. During a medical emergency, VA encourages all Veterans to seek immediate medical attention without delay. It is, however, important to promptly notify VA within 72 hours of presenting to the emergency room.


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Filing a Claim

Claims for emergency medical care should be submitted to VA as soon as possible after care has been provided. The deadline for filing a claim depends on whether care was provided for a service-connected condition or a nonservice-connected condition. See VA requirements for filing an emergency care claim..

New Emergency Care Centralized Notification

Effective June 8, 2020, VA is establishing a national emergency care contact center to simplify the emergency care notification process.

Providers, Veterans, and representatives should report instances of a Veteran presenting to a community emergency room to the VA Community Care Centralized Notification Center within 72 hours of the start of emergent care using one of the following options: 

  1. Email: VHAEmergencyNotification@va.gov
  2. Phone: 1-(844)72HRVHA or (844-724-7842)

The Community Care Centralized Notification Center offers simplified access to VA for care coordination, eligibility determination, and payment authorization information. Notifying VA within 72 hours is important because this:

  • Allows VA to assist the Veteran in coordinating necessary care or transfer.
  • Helps ensure that the administrative and clinical requirements for VA to pay for the care are met.
  • May impact a Veteran’s eligibility for VA to cover the cost of emergency treatment.

The person notifying VA should be prepared to supply the case information detailed in the Non-VA Hospital Emergency Notification, VA Form 10-10143g, when calling or emailing notification for care coordination and eligibility determinations.

For more information please visit VA Community Care.

VA’s partnerships with community providers is key to making sure Veterans have access to timely, high-quality health care. We thank you for helping make that possible.