HARTFORD, Conn. – Connecticut hospitals will be required to ask all patients if they are veterans, under a new state law that takes effect Oct. 1.
The law is part of a nationwide effort conceived by the State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Linda Schwartz to make private health providers aware that they are treating veterans, since most veterans don’t go to federal Veterans Health Administration facilities. The goal is to improve veterans’ diagnoses and health care because military experiences are linked to certain illnesses, she said.
Schwartz said veterans don’t always know about health risks connected to their military service and that health providers need to become educated about them. “We’re promising that you’re going to get a more informed health provider looking for things you may not even be aware of as a veteran,” Schwartz said.
In addition to the state law, Schwartz convinced the American Academy of Nursing to undertake a national awareness campaign informing health providers of illnesses connected to military service. Called “Have You Ever Served,” nurses are distributing pocket cards and posters to doctors and hospitals where they work. They provide detailed information about physical and mental illnesses linked to eras and locations of military service, suggested questions to ask patients, and resources for veterans.
See the complete story at CT Health I-Team