MTPR

Veterans Getting Easier Access To Rehab Services, VA Says

Dec 15, 2017

The Montana Veterans Administration says more of the state’s veterans are getting access to rehab services for drugs, alcohol and PTSD thanks to a simplified admissions process.  

Eric Kenneda is with the Montana VA at Fort Harrison.

Fort Harrison VA facility in Helena, MT

"We have veterans that can come in and check in on Monday and they’re starting to get help by Tuesday. So it helps them faster, that’s how the process is working."

Kenneda says more veterans are finding a bed in the Residential Rehab Program thanks to changes to the VA’s application process.

"And that’s enabled us to reduce the amount of down time or empty beds that were open and that means there’s more occupancy rate over time, because we don’t have empty beds for a week," Kenneda says.

Residential treatment is when groups of veterans are admitted together for a 4 to 7 week program.  The Residential Rehab Program at Fort Harrison has 24 beds.

With improved access, the Montana VA has seen its occupancy rate for rehab services increase by 5 to 10 percent. Its 87 percent occupancy rate is above the national benchmark.