"Like HELL you'll close our Hospital!"
Brig. Gen. Bill Bacon, Ret
Past President and founder of HCVC
R.I.P., Old Top
1920 - 2008

Kerrville V.A. Hospital

Important News

Dear Kerrville Times Editor,
As a Veteran, I read with interest Victoria Aldrich’s article on the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) Veterans Town Hall in the November 6, 2015 edition of your paper. While Ms. Aldrich’s article accurately portrays the STVHCS briefing on the Veterans CHOICE Program, it lacks a historical context and identification of the remaining problems that limit Veteran’s use of the program.
Last year, in the wake of the Veterans Administration (VA) appointment scandal that led to the resignation of the VA Secretary, Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 that commissioned the Veterans Choice Program. Congress gave the VA a short 3-month timeline to stand up the program and make it operational. The Choice program was to provide Veterans critical non-VA care options if a Veteran could not be seen by the VA, in a timely manner or, who lived more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility. The program was only open to Veterans enrolled in VA health care as of August 1, 2014.
There were several problems with the new Choice Program. The 40-mile rule was measured “as the crow flies and not by road distance traveled. If the VA medical facility within the 40-mile limit was unable to provide the required medical service, the Veteran could not use the Choice Program and was required to travel long distances to another VA medical facility. In some geographic regions (especially in rural areas), there were limited numbers of non-VA providers signed up to provide care. Veterans who signed up for VA health care after August 1, 2014, were not eligible for the program. Choice had priority over existing non-VA care programs and did not cover all medical services. Complicated, confusing, with gaps, may be an appropriate description of the program.
On May 22, 2015, Public Law 114-19 (the Construction Authorization and Choice Improvement Act) changed the 40-mile rule to reflect driving distance. It did not address any of the other above issues with the Choice Program.
Finally, on July 31, 2015, Congress passed, and the President signed Public Law 114-41 (Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015). This law directed the Secretary of the VA to develop a plan to establish a new, single program named the “Veterans Choice Program” to furnish hospital care and medical services to all Veterans enrolled in VA health care no matter what date they enrolled. It makes almost $3.4 billion dollars available to the VA to pay for non-VA health care provided to Veterans between May 1 and October 30, 2015. Additionally, it expands the number of non-VA providers permitted to participate in the Choice Program and eliminates the 60-day limit on follow-up care.
What the latest Congressional change does not do is fix the two issues that most limit Veterans use of the CHOICE Program. It does not eliminate the 40-mile rule and it does nothing to allow Veterans to choose any health care provider that will accept Medicare rates. This is especially important in rural areas where providers are limited and distances Veterans must travel for healthcare are greater.
The VA is implementing the new law in steps. To read Public Law 114-41 in its entirety, go to https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3236/text/pl . For the latest information on Choice eligibility, call 866-606-8198 or visit http://www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/ . The web page has a link you can click to see which doctors are participating in your area. If you have questions or require more information, call your County Veterans Service Officer.

Dennis Birchall
Bandera County Veteran Service OfficerMary T. "Terry" Garza
Kerrville VA Hospital Advocate
830 792-2472

Hill Country County Veterans Service Officers
(CVSO)& Texas Veterans Commission (TVC)
CLICK HERE for Contact Information

VA Healthcare Available in Kerrville

Veterans may obtain a wide range of medical services at the Kerrville VA Medical Center. These services include primary care and selected specialties.

The Kerrville VA facility does not have emergency care capability. Veterans in need of emergency care should seek immediate assistance at a local hospital. Please visit http://www.nonvacare.va.gov/  for information about non-VA care. You may wish to call Telecare On-Line, your access to a Registered Nurse.

If you require immediate assistance, please call: Toll free number: 1-888-686-6350 or 210 949-3994

Veterans are strongly encouraged to apply for VA healthcare benefits. To apply for benefits, complete the VA Form 10-10EZ. This form may be obtained from any VA facility, a local Veterans Service Officer (VSO), or online at http://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=10EZ.

Complete the form 10-10EZ and take it along with a DD-214 to the Admissions Desk at the Kerrville VA. You may also fax the application to: (210) 949-3296 (San Antonio).

The application may also be completed entirely on-line at https://www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez/Form/1010ez.pdf.

Please apply for VA healthcare benefits today even if you think you do not qualify for VA healthcare or do not need VA healthcare. By applying for care at the Kerrville VA you enter the count of number of veterans requesting local services. This number is important in maintaining and improving medical services to veterans in the Kerrville area.

The Kerrville VA Medical Center is located at 3600 Memorial Blvd. (Hwy. 27). Phone calls can be directed to 830-896-2020.

The major mission of the Hill Country Veterans Council is to:

To maintain a full range of appropriate services at the Kerrville Veterans Administration medical facility.

To ensure excellence in all health care provided at the center.

To strive for the satisfaction of every veteran using the facility.


The Kerr County Veterans Service Officer is responsible for assisting Armed Forces Veterans and their dependants who reside in Kerr County of the legal Benefits available to them under U. S. Federal and State laws. The Veterans Service Officer reports to the Commissioners Court, and performs duties under the technical Guidelines established by the Texas Veterans Commission and Federal Law under C.F.R. 38. There is no charge for services

Maggie Baker
Kerr County Veteran’s Service Officer
700 Main Street #118
Kerrville,TX 78028
Phone: 830-792-2203
Fax: 830-792-2204


Contact HCVC Board Members on right
Click on any name

 Col. Vicki T. Marsh (USMC Ret.)

Past President
Brig. Gen. Walter Schellhase
(USA Ret.)

1st Vice President
Dennis Birchall
2nd Vice President
Byron Warren

Board Members

Emilio Rendon
Gary Noller
William A "Bill" Cantrell
Maggie Baker
David Rittenhouse

Cord Switzer


Past Directors
Past President
Brig. Gen. Bill Bacon (USAF Ret.) (deceased)
1st Vice President 
Bill Bacon
Bill Bowden (deceased)
The Hon. Bill Stacy (deceased)
Lt. Gen. Murphy Chesney (USAF Ret.) (deceased)
Bob Weinberg
Joe Strange (deceased)
Laura Craig (deceased)
Rev. Al Shults
Richard York
Gene Ritchie (deceased)
Bennie Hyde (deceased)
Bob Waller
Connie Smith
Gene Higgins 
Ed Jackson
Alan Hill  
Judd Ashmore
Jack Ledford
Sam Barker

Joseph Benham  (deceased)

Honorary Members
BG Walter Schellhase
Dr. Dan Bacon
Sherry Cunningham (deceased)
The Hon. Ben Low
Gael Montana (deceased)
Linda Cook





  Site Map    What's New    Search

   Search this site      powered by FreeFind


"Passing the Colors"
Allegedly drawn by a young GI awaiting deployment.


Meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month @ 9:00AM
Kerrville Chamber Office
1700 Sidney Baker Street
Kerrville, Texas 78028
Fax 830-896-1364


Site currently designed & maintained by Comfort Webs.com
Listed at www.shopcomfort.com Comfort and surrounding areas most current news
Contact Linda for updates and site issues.

Site Last updated on: 08/19/2016