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.