TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — One of the Capital Region’s small VA medical locations, The Troy Community Based Outpatient Clinic which sees over 1,000 veterans a year is closing, according to Assemblyman Jake Ashby, over apparent financial costs to lease the building.
In a statement, he said, “The decision to close the Troy CBOC facility represents a tremendous error in judgment and a slap in the face to the thousands of Veterans who rely on the VA for their medical coverage,” said Ashby. “I know many fellow Rensselaer County Veterans who utilize this facility for their care who will now be directed to facilities far outside of our County.”
While this will likely be an inconvenience for those who live in Troy, there is a VA hospital in Albany as well as a clinic in Clifton Park.
“One of the good things the VA does and the Rensselaer County Veterans services is they offer transportation to these folks, ” explained Emil Baker, a local veteran. “So if they do have to go to the Stratton VA in Albany, they can go that way.”
For those who may not have transportation, Baker said there are options to help vets get the care they need.
He said they also will reimburse veterans for their travel expenses.
Assemblyman Ashby is demanding the Troy VA clinic remain open and added that the announcement of the closure on the cusp of Memorial Day is especially disrespectful to the men and women who answered the call to serve our county.
NEWS10 ABC reached out to the VA for a statement. In response, they said the Troy location has seen a decrease in veterans from a high of 1,460 to 1,133 currently. They also project that Rensselaer County will see a projected 21.7% decrease in enrollees in VA healthcare by 2038 with the greatest decreases where the Troy CBOC is located.
The said in-part:
In order to maximize accessibility to VA care, reduce overlap of services within the 30-minute drive time as prescribed by the MISSION Act, and enhance and expand services for Veterans in the Capital Region, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Albany Stratton VAMC is realigning VA services to provide Veterans with greater access and enhanced care opportunities, allowing VA the ability to reinvest local savings by adding available care options from both VA and from local communities. This includes improvements to Patient Aligned Care Teams, Telemedicine expansion, Telehealth including Telenutrition and Telepharmacy; investments in programs such as Home Based Primary Care and Adult Day Health Care; and increased opportunities for local community partnerships for services such as advanced medical imaging, physical therapy, and community nursing homes located closer to where Veterans live throughout Capital Region communities.
Veterans will also receive a personal letter on how to transfer care to the CBOC of their choice, the VA said.