HomeVA Spinal Cord Injury SystemSCI CentersAdmission of Non-Veteran SCI/D Patients

5.5. Admission of Non-Veteran SCI/D Patients

The following information has been developed for the admission of non-Veterans, other than active duty military personnel, and is consistent with the contracting authorities. NOTE: This does not apply to VA SCI services furnished under a pre-approved sharing agreement.
  1. Admission must be considered necessary for humanitarian emergency reasons because appropriate specialized facilities are not available in the area. Patients must meet the admission criteria as outlined in paragraph 8 of this Handbook.
  2. Requests for admission are to be made to the nearest Chief, SCI Service, as soon as possible, post-injury. The Chief, SCI Service, approves requests for admission of acute non- Veteran SCI/D patients. Admission is to be accomplished within 1 week post-injury and before the beginning of acute rehabilitation.
  3. Management at a VA SCI Center makes a critical difference in the individual's outcome.
  4. The cost of VA care, including prosthetic and orthotic devices and the cost of transportation to and from the SCI Center, is not borne by VA. Charges for SCI services are made according to the cost accounting or billing methods currently in use.
  5. Length of stay in a VA SCI Center is limited to a maximum of 3 months. The VA medical center Director may authorize an extension of the hospitalization, if medically necessary, and if requested by the third party payer. Every effort must be made to rehabilitate the patient for discharge to the community, or other appropriate non-VA resource.
  6. Those applicants who are not yet hospitalized, and in need of emergency care (where the absence of immediate care would be life threatening to the patient) are to be given the highest priority for treatment and consideration for admission.
  7. The quality of care available to eligible Veterans on the SCI Unit must not be diminished, and the admission of eligible Veterans must not be delayed because of the hospitalization of a non-Veteran.


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