National television ad places VA partnership and telehealth in prime time



A new commercial featuring Veterans using telehealth began airing on national television this week as a part of a new partnership between T-Mobile* and VA. The ad, which highlights Veterans using VA Video Connect without incurring data charges, exemplifies the public-private partnerships VA has developed to increase access to care for Veterans.

“Veterans and caregivers with limited cellular data plans are faced with difficult decisions on how to best utilize their cellular data,” said Executive Advisor Deborah Scher, who leads the secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships. “Partnerships like these significantly expand the Veterans access to exceptional and innovative health care services.”

Bruce Grammer, a Marine sergeant and Purple Heart recipient who served in Vietnam, and his wife Lynne started using VA Video Connect three years ago to keep up with health care teams on a regular basis. The couple is featured alongside two other Veterans from California and Virginia.

“We live 20 miles from the closest loaf of bread, and 75 miles from the closest VA Medical Center,” said Lynne Van Dyke-Grammer. “I have no doubt that Bruce would not have sought out the proper health care if he was unable to do it from the comfort of our own home. Telehealth has made all the difference in the world.”

VA reached a major milestone in fiscal year 2018 by delivering health care through more than 1 million video telehealth visits, a 19%  increase in video telehealth visits over the prior year. VA remains dedicated to opening doors for Veterans to more conveniently access their health care, regardless of their location across this country.

“Our goal at the Department of Veterans Affairs is to offer every Veteran the best health care possible no matter where they choose to call home. The Veterans featured in this advertisement demonstrate how telehealth can change lives,” said Dr. Neil Evans, chief officer of VA’s Office of Connected Care. “Through strategic partnerships such as this partnership with T-Mobile, VA is better able to support as many Veterans as possible.”

The T-Mobile commercials are scheduled to air in cinema and on television from May 1 to May 31.


Here’s how the service works:

  • With limited exceptions, using VA Video Connect in the United States will not count against data allotments for T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile subscribers. Exceptions include when:
    • The T-Mobile/Metro by T-Mobile subscriber is “roaming” off the T-Mobile network.
    • The T-Mobile/Metro by T-Mobile subscriber is connecting to VA Video Connect through a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
    • The T-Mobile/Metro by T-Mobile subscriber is connecting to the network through a mobile hotspot.
  • The following examples help explain the T-Mobile benefit:
    • If a T-Mobile/Metro by T-Mobile subscriber has a 10 gigabyte per month high speed data plan and uses 15 gigabytes of high speed data for VA Video Connect during the billing cycle, the subscriber will still have 10 gigabytes of data to use for other data activities.
    • If a T-Mobile/Metro by T-Mobile subscriber has a 10 gigabyte per month high speed data plan and uses 10 gigabytes of data watching movies during the billing cycle, the subscriber will still be able to use high speed data for VA Video Connect during the billing cycle.

An entity’s being listed as a partner does not mean or imply that VA endorses the entity, its views, or any products or services it may provide.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Richard Najjar    

    OMG! T-Mobile??!! That was the absolute worst contract that I ever sign. 90% dropped calls. No attempts by T-Mobile to resolve or take accountability for bad service, and crippling charges for bad service. I work for and defend VA for a lot of decisions that they make, but this deal-with-the-devil will be hard to defend. They could have done better.

    1. David Sigurdson    

      Wow, how long ago was this? Time to catch up with the rest of the world. T-Mobile hasn’t had contracts for years now. I’ve never had a dropped call, customer service is excellent. I have had a couple phone issues that they resolved very quickly and easily. Also, just because they used T-Mobile for this program doesn’t mean you need T-Mobile to us it.

  2. David Sigurdson    

    My issue is with the program, not the commercial. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a great step in the right direction as improvements are definitely needed. I just have a couple issues.
    1. I asked my doctor about this program and he told me it was not available at my clinic. He was upset because they started advertising the program before they had it set up and ready for use.
    2. Also, I signed up to share my medical records so DOD and VA can both have access to my records and view my medical history. Sadly, neither of them actually use the program. Even worse, the VA doesn’t share with the VA. I travel and if I’m out of state when my appointment comes around I can’t even get labs collected at a local VA hospital and share them with my VA doctor at home. Can someone explain why a VA clinic in Texas can’t collect lab results from a VA clinic anywhere else in the US? I can go online to My Health eVet and pull up my records and lab results from anywhere, but VA doesn’t share with VA.
    So with that being said, what good is a video chat if my doctor needs lab results that can only be collected at the local VA clinic? VA really needs to fix some very basic “in house” programs like internal communication before trying to expand out and start new programs.

  3. Wil Spruill    

    Did I miss how you sign up for this? I understand how video conferencing works so include the sign up information.

  4. michael oconnor    

    Mather (AFB) V.A. facility is a heck of a lot closer than what a lot of us have to deal with. get real. I have to get up by 2;00 am in order to make all the connections with DAV transports that take me to closest V.A. Hosp. which is like 150 miles away. tyvm

  5. Mark Howard Lewis Sr.    

    It still doesn’t make sense. I’m a Former Marine 100% Disabled (according to the Veterans Hospital), and also run DV Tags (Disabled Veteran) with a Wheelchair on it yet my VA Hospital gave me a card a couple of decades ago that doesn’t state whether a Veteran is Disabled or not. I get Military Discounts at Lowe’s but Home Depot told me my VA Card doesn’t say I’m Disabled so I don’t shop at Home Depot anymore.

    Now with the above matter… I don’t have a cell phone, but only a home phone. So, does this mean I HAVE TO get a T-Mobile Phone and Plan to use this service??? Do I need to also buy a special tablet or phone to be able to use the service? I just bought a 10.5” iPad Pro that I use now more than my laptop. Can’t I use one of my items here at home on my home Wi-Fi Network or am I stuck dealing with T-Mobile?

    ~StillinSaigon~

  6. Bill Barns    

    My local VA rural health clinic, 5 min away, replaced my VA doc, with video health. So now instead of being seen by a live doc in person, I talk to a screen. I’m told “It’s the wave of the future”. But I feel cheated and underserved. Thanks VA!!!

  7. Rico Cruz    

    I get totally upset about these comments that I have read. As a Disable Vet I often see women recognized as disabled Vets.
    Some times I ask my self why have I never been acknowledged for my sacrifice in both Vietnam and Gulf War.
    I put my life in Danger every day of my career and never once asked for recognition because it was my duty and being proud
    to serve. I see this race and gender why not me type of issues all the time and just about fed up with it.
    A Veteran is a Veteran no matter what age, race, gender you are.
    I am a firm believer of Freedom of speech and do not want to take anything away from Female Veterans.
    But when that disrupts the content of something so valuable of a Company offering and showing the world what they are doing for us Veterans it just makes no sense. Are you so into your self that you can not see the value of what they are doing because you are so rapped up in wanting to be recognized. Did I get recognized when I saved a person from a burning building or for attempting to give life back to a 2 year old, did I start yelling for recognition when I lost a lung or can hardly walk due to my occupation in the Military the answer to that is No, I have non-violent PTSD and I will not even go to get checked out because I do not want to take up a slot from someone that may need it more than I. I am proud living in America and for serving and am Proud to be an American Veteran. And if I have to do it all over again I will in a Heart Beat. Be Glad your alive and able to use your freedoms, I wear my Vet hat only during occasions and my Love for this Country in my heart, I give respect to all veterans and acknowledge them both male and females with out hesitation.
    I praise the companies that help us Vets regardless if they show gender , race or religion in their commercials, they are doing it for all American Veterans. So feel ashamed that our fallen Veterans can not receive what is available to us.
    Believe in your self and take pride of who you are regardless of recognition.
    For You Are not only an American but a American Veteran one of the best in this world.

    1. Hal Williams    

      Not getting treated for PTSD is not noble its just stupid, and extremely selfish. Have you ever stopped to think how it affects everyone? Especially everyone around you? Not getting diagnosed or treated means you’re not getting counted as one of the many veterans who suffer with this condition and may affect our benefits as well. Everyone wins when you get the help you deserve — not just YOU! Especially those who may know and even love you! think about that and reconsider will ya?

  8. Bob Loder    

    Maybe I’m missing something… How do I sign up for telehealth?
    I live 40 miles from my CBOC and 100 miles from VA Medical Center. Do I go to T-Mobile or V.A.?
    Thanks…

  9. Gary Hamilton    

    I only noticed veterans mentioned, not men only. My wife and I were both veterans and she received care until the day she died. I have never been admitted to a VA hospital but my wife was admitted two times. I believe she received equal treatment.

  10. David Ortega Sanchez    

    Why always you guys have to look for a needle in the stash complaining about women veterans everybody knows they exist it’s a comercial!!! Come on I bet if instead a black dude as veteran is a white guy people will start complaining about its racist black people serv too. Why there is no an oriental guy or a Mexican that’s racist.

    Omg why you guys that complain about everything don’t take the meaning of what this means for a veteran that doesn’t have to drive 500 miles a week for appointments and drive at least 3 hours each time to go to the closest va medical center.

  11. Roberta Capp    

    How about allowing vets to go to clinics that their whole family goes to? My son found a dr he could confide in and VA refused coverage and refused referral. Why does their need to me a math problem to post a comment??

    1. Kenneth Simpson    

      I m. Vet and there are plenty of providers in a VA facility that I’m sure your son will have the same confidence in. If VA allowed all vets to use any and all hospitals and doctors they want, this would drive up cost and there would be no need for a VA hospital.

      1. Edward Kay    

        ALERT!!!!! There is No need for va hospitals! What care can you get from a va hospital that you in at least 90% of cases can get from a closer real hospital? Why would anyone want to go to any healthcare that all the people who work there are NEVER held responsible for their actions? Don’t believe a word I say!!!! Do your own research!
        Wake up. Call any lawyer and ask if anyone at the va can be sued. Ask if the va can be sued! Only the fed gov can be sued. Ask if any dr has malpractice ins. WAKE UP!!!!!

        THEY don’t need it! That’s why they work there! They can’t get malpractice Ins.! Theyv’e been sue in private practice so much none will ins. them! DO YOU THINK the va pays them more than they can make in the real world? WAKE UP! Why are vets segregated? Do you think the care your family gets is not better than we get? When you have choices like in anything else in this world there is competition to do better. Not so if you have no choice cause the gov. tells you that you MUST go here!
        WAKE UP!!! Do your own research dammit!!!!!!

  12. Danny Holden    

    The commercial make it appear that any veteran at any time from anywhere can “Talk” to their doctor by video chat. Nothing about having to sign up with the program with your doctor and then wait for appointments. Very misleading to those new to VA

  13. Lauren Bates    

    Only men??? Us female veterans face enough of this day to day, sad to see it clear as day on a television commercial. It shouldn’t have to matter which ‘spot’ you’re watching. It should be equal on all of them!

    1. Nicole Cage    

      Did you watch the video?

      1. Mike Neal    

        Lolz, go rage elsewhere

      2. April Pinkston    

        I didn’t see it as an only men ad but a “veterans” as a whole ad. Chill. Proud female vet!

      3. MIke Adams    

        The very first example was a female vet working with a female doctor! Get your facts straight!

    2. Jim    

      I am interested in using the video connect I am a T-Mobile subscriber and 100% DAV (190% of various disabilities). How do I use it?

  14. Glynn Hunt    

    Is there someone that I can be connected with to discuss, how my company might be able to offer some assistance. My company Mehab.net provides digital access to complete step by step guided physical therapy programs for those that can’t afford or get to formal therapy. Users simply follow the plan every day.
    I would love to be able to add this as an option for our veterans.
    I appreciate any help you can provide.

  15. Angelina    

    What the hell?! I’m a female Veteran! Why does this commercial only show men?! Me and tons of other females put on the same damn uniform as the men and served just like the men. Where is our acknowledgement in this commercial?? Beyond irritated with T-mobile and the VA! Fix it or take off the air all together!!!

      1. Valerie    

        This commercial makes my blood boil. I don’t know how many times I have been to the VA and asked what my husbands social security number is. How many times have the male veterans around me been thanked for their service and I am wearing the same stuff they are and not a word being said to me. I very much dislike pulling the female card but way to go T-Mobile and VA for ignoring women veterans again.

    1. Clara Fargo    

      I also served and not including female veterans is a slap in the face. Fix this.

    2. Abel Smith    

      “Damn uniform ”. Service members died wearing that uniform. Think before you type

    3. Philip Sweeting    

      I think you should watch the add again. I saw a female communicating by computer with a female doctor?

      I often hear veterans complain about the VA (some of which had no dealings with the VA…they just heard about it or it is politically convenient) but I have, for the most part, been satisfied with the VA and all the folks I have dealt with.

      I do wish the VA would allow visitations to a local doctor regardless of the mileage. My private doctor understands my issues a lot better than my VA doctor. Not to mention it would lessen the workload and cost of the VA. Fortunately I do have medicare.

      1. r wilson    

        Must be one of those “entitled” types. (Whiners)

    4. SHANEIL LAMONES    

      I am a female vet and the first person”vet” that it showed was a female. Maybe you did not notice or caught the video in the middle, but we are represented. I find it shameful that my “sister” vets are more than happy to jump on the bandwagon of “mad raging women” instead of “intelligent service members”. I say thank you to the VA and T-Mobile for bringing attention to this much needed and under utilized program.

  16. Luz FischerFlores    

    I think this is a wonderful idea, specially for veterans in need of mental health interventions. Talking to a counselor on the computer may be a lot easier and more comfortable than visiting a health facility, for some

  17. k smith    

    Female veteran here. I’m not a spouse, quarterback or father. No women veterans were in the commercial. Oversight??

    1. C Dickinson    

      I was thinking the same thing..

    2. Veterans Health Administration    

      Thank you for watching and your feedback. This is one of a number of spots, and women Veterans will be featured.

    3. Ann Marie Marbaker    

      Totally agree…only men in commercial..Women like me are not represented.. very disappointing

  18. Donna Tanaka    

    Require more information for my dad who is retired from the Army. He lives in Orangevale, California, and requires a driver to take him to his VA medical appointments and related VA necessities.
    If T-Mobile can really provide a tele-appointment with his VA Doctor, this process will assist many VAs.
    Please provide more information if this is a reality in Sacramento, CA.

    1. Veterans Health Administration    

      Hi Donna, more information about the VA Video Connect app is available at https://mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect. We recommend contacting your dad’s VA care team to determine if VA Video Connect would be useful as part of his care plan. T-Mobile customers who use VA Video Connect for their VA health appointments will not incur usage charges while using the app.

  19. Eliza Powell    

    There are no female veterans in the commercial…labels of spouse, quarterback, father…..no women.

  20. T Thomas    

    Uhhhhh, where are the female veterans in your telehealth ad?

    1. Veterans Health Administration    

      This is one of a number of spots, and women Veterans will be featured. We appreciate you for watching and value your feedback.

  21. Emmett Melton    

    With all due respect to a fellow veteran, in my humble opinion since he served in Nam I would pray he would begin to start considering moving in a bit closer due to his age and health. I was also a live way out in the boonies type of guy
    who enlisted in the Navy 1954 so, was in the last year of the Korean conflict but, by the grace of God was in training and didn’t see any war. As the years went by I saw the need for my wife to have more support from friends and neighbors if or when something happened to me. 20 miles from a loaf of bread is definitely in the boonies. Don’t know anything about my fellow veteran and his wife but, from the heart will ask that they study Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 and 9 then followup with Romans chapter 10 verses 9 and 10. If you are good in that regard, please pass it on to someone else. May God bless you and all of yours. Mel USS Walker DD 517 stationed in Pearl Harbor.

Comments are closed.