PARAMUS, NJ - Eligible North Jersey veterans will now be able to receive referrals for care at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, following the hospital's approval as a VA Community Care Network (CCN) provider, according to a joint federal and county announcement on Feb. 14. This will provide North Jersey veterans with shorter drive times and greater access to care for veterans in the Fifth District.
The VA MISSION Act, signed into law in June 2018, established the new Community Care program, replacing the Choice Program and allowing covered veterans to receive care from eligible non-VA providers within their own community. Covered veterans may specify an eligible non-VA provider they would like to receive care from, so long as the care is clinically necessary and is not feasibly available through a VA facility, contract, or sharing agreement.
This past fall, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) met with New Jersey VA Director Vincent Immiti to express his support for VA patient referrals to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, as well as expanding access to care throughout North Jersey, including at the Sussex VA clinic, a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Newton, NJ.
“We must always have the backs of those who have had ours: the brave men and women who have served our nation and defended our freedoms. I’ve heard from veterans across the Fifth District who have had to drive over an hour, only to be met by long wait times, and cancelled appointments,” Gottheimer said. “I am excited to announce that North Jersey veterans will now be able to seek referrals to New Bridge Medical Center, a priority I discussed with the Director of the VA New Jersey Health Care System this past fall. I look forward to North Jersey’s veterans being able to make use of our county hospital for the care they earned in service to our country.”
“Since first taking office in 2014, I have been committed to charting a course forward for our County hospital that expands upon services for our veterans and active duty military, and I’m pleased we were able to bring this to fruition. This designation means our veterans, active duty military personnel, and their families can seek services closer to home and take advantage of everything Bergen New Bridge Medical Center has to offer. Our veterans are the reason why we enjoy the many freedoms we have today, and we will never stop working for them and their families while they serve and after they serve,” said Bergen County Executive James Tedesco.
“In today’s complex and changing health care environment, we recognize how essential it is for the VA to partner with providers in communities across the country to meet the needs of veterans. We are honored to be one of those partners,” said Deborah Visconi, President and CEO for Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. “Together with the continued support of the Congressman, Bergen County, and the VA, we will put into action innovative ideas and solutions to enhance the veterans’ experience and increase expedient access to high-quality health care for them in their community. We appreciate the dedication of Congressman Josh Gottheimer and Bergen County Executive James Tedesco to ensure access to healthcare for our veterans. Bergen New Bridge is ready, willing, and able to serve those that have served us."
“This is another phenomenal day for our veterans in Bergen County. I am very thankful for the support we got from our federal representatives, including Congress Gottheimer’s office, to ensure this issue of health care accessibility was not only addressed but will lead to another great collaboration between the VA and New Bridge Medical Center to serve the over 50,000 eligible veterans we have in our area. I also want to thank the NJ SOS Veteran Stakeholders for continuing to advocate to make the lives of our local veterans better," said A.J. Luna, Director of Veteran Services for Bergen County.
The Bergen New Bridge Medical Center is located directly across from the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus, which houses elderly veterans with special health care needs. This new referral announcement will improve access to care for veterans at the Paramus Veterans Home and other veterans throughout North Jersey.