Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services
The Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services (VD-HCBS) Program is a partnership between the Iowa Department on Aging and the Veterans Health Administration to help veterans of any age who are enrolled in the Iowa City VA Medical Center and are potential candidates for nursing facility placement to receive care at home, in a caregiver's home or in an independent living community. The program is based on the philosophy of self-directed care, meaning it empowers participants to have decision-making authority over which long-term services they need to live independently and take direct responsibility for managing those services with the assistance of a system of available supports.
Using a case mix tool, the VAMC determines a monthly budget for each veteran to contract with the individuals and agencies of his/her choice (including family members, friends and neighbors) for goods and services, including:
Errands and chore services
Memory care support
Personal emergency response systems
Caregiver education, training and respite
Home modification services
Adult day services
Components of VD-HCBS
Veterans who are enrolled in VD-HCBS are assigned a service coordinator to guide them through the program. The service coordinator works with the veteran to assess their needs; develop a service plan to spend the monthly budget set by the VAMC; and interview, hire and train service providers. The service coordinator is also available to help resolve issues if problems arise and act as the veteran's advocate, when necessary.
A third-party financial management service (FMS) acts as the veteran's payroll agent, taking care of things like timesheets, taxes and other employer-related duties. The veteran uses the FMS to send payments to individuals or agencies for the goods and services they provide and receives reports from the FMS about how their budget is being spent.
Benefits to Older Iowans
According to the State Data Center of Iowa, 21.1% of all Iowans over the age of 65 are military veterans. Through VD-HCBS, older Iowans who have served their country have an opportunity to maintain dignity and control over their long-term care services and supports by deciding what type of help they need, when to get that help and who will provide those services. This self-directed care benefit promotes personal choice, which can result in increased consumer satisfaction and improved overall health outcomes.
For more information, contact: Iowa City VA Medical Center 601 Hwy 6 West Iowa City, IA 52246 (319) 338-0581 | (800) 637-0128