VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System hosted a town hall at the Castle Pines Library Jan. 30 to discuss plans for the new Castle Rock VA Clinic and the expansions of the PACT Act and COMPACT Act.
Looking to open in late 2024 or early 2025, the Castle Rock VA Clinic will be a 20-year lease built at the northeast corner of Prairie Hawk Drive and Dacoro Lane.
The annual lease is estimated to be $1.3 million.
According to the director of the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System Miachel Kilmer, the 20-year lease is a build to suit, meaning the contractor is going to take the VA’s design and build it based on the primary care model the VA wants.
“The thing that makes me confident about the clinic is this is a build to suit,” said Kilmer. “The landlord can’t start collecting rent until it’s built and we take occupancy. So, you’re going to have a motivated contractor.”
DCB Construction, the general contractor for the Loveland VA Clinic will build the Castle Rock VA Clinic.
The clinic is currently designed for eight primary care teams. However, Kilmer said they are going to reassess as they need to integrate mental health and whole health or complementary alternative medicines such as chiropractic, acupuncture and massage.
In addition to the eight primary care teams, the total space will be 25,000 square feet and look to include a lab service. The clinic will not offer in-house eye care, a pharmacy or a dedicated full time women's health clinic. However, there will be a women’s health fellowship.
“Veterans can choose who their providers are and I’m sure we’re going to have a combination of male and female providers at that clinic and they are all required to be certified in women’s health,”
Updates on the clinic will be provided through the veterans service organization, social media, the website and future town halls.
The PACT Act
According to Kilmer, the PACT Act is expanding presumptive conditions in making eligibility easier for those who have been exposed to toxic airs, radiations, smoke pits, Agent Orange and other general hazards.
“We’ve already seen about 260,000 PACT Act related claims since the legislation was signed into law on August 10 (2022),” said Michael Rohrbach, director of the Denver VA Regional Office.
Rohrbach encourages veterans to work with their county and state veteran service organization representatives and file a claim for PACT Act.
The COMPACT Act
Through the Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care, and Treatment Act of 2020, the VA will cover medical costs for veterans who receive emergency care for veterans who are at imminent risk of self-harm. The program started on Jan. 17.
This includes ambulances and other transportation costs.
According to Kilmer, veterans are eligible for up to 30 days of in-paitent or crisis residential care and up to 90 days of out-paitent care including social work. The act will cover the cost of care if one is discharged after more than 24 months of active duty service and discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
The COMPACT Act, “extended out eligibility for emergency suicide care to veterans who were the victims of physical assault of a sexual nature, a battery of sexual nature or a sexual harrassment during their service,” said Kilmer.