The VA recently announced the launch of a new initiative that would allow veterans to schedule some medical appointments using their smartphone using a web app called Veteran Appointment Request, or VAR for short.

According to a previous VA Press Release, this specific web app has been in the works for at least twelve months and VA leadership have been working to create a mobile scheduling tool dating back to 2013.

With the use of VAR, veterans can now:

  • Self-schedule primary care appointments,
  • Request dates and times for primary care and mental health appointments,
  • See details for all pending, confirmed and upcoming appointments (both those requested through the app or through a VA scheduler), including date, time, clinic, care team and reason for visit,
  • Send up to two messages to a VA scheduler about requested and booked appointments,
  • Get email notifications about appointment updates, and
  • Cancel an appointment if you are unable to make it to that appointment.

Alternatively, the web app does not yet allow the veteran to:

  • Schedule appointments outside of primary care or mental health,
  • Submit more than one primary care appointment and two mental health requests at a time,
  • Receive text, SMS, or push notifications,
  • Schedule appointments more than 90 days out,
  • Schedule appointments on the same day.

While the idea behind VAR is to make it easier and more convenient for a veteran to request an appointment at their local VA facility, it appears that the usability is somewhat limited.

Currently 65 Medical Centers (out of 1,100 hospitals and outpatient clinics) are participating in the program, with promises of more to come.

Participating locations that are participating include:

VISN 1

  1. Edith Nurse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital (Bedford, MA)
  2. Manchester VA Medical Center (Manchester, NH)
  3. Providence VA Medical Center (Providence, RI)
  4. VA Boston Healthcare System (Boston, MA (Jamaica Plain), West Roxbury, MA, and Brockton, MA)
  5. VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System (Leeds, MA)
  6. VA Connecticut Healthcare System (West Haven, CT and Newington, CT)
  7. VA Maine Healthcare System (Augusta, ME)
  8. White River Junction VA Medical Center (Hartford, VT)

VISN 2

  1. James J. Peters VA Medical Center (Bronx, NY)
  2. Northport VA Medical Center (Northport, NY)
  3. VA New Jersey Health Care System (East Orange NJ, and Lyons, NJ)

VISN 4

  1. Coatesville VA Medical Center (Coatesville, PA)
  2. Erie VA Medical Center (Erie, PA)
  3. James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center (Altoona, PA)
  4. Philadelphia VA Medical Center (Philadelphia, PA)
  5. VA Butler Healthcare (Butler, PA)
  6. VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (Pittsburgh, PA)
  7. Wilmington VA Medical Center (Wilmington, DE)
  8. Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

VISN 5

  1. Beckley VA Medical Center (Beckley, WV)
  2. Baltimore VA Medical Center (Baltimore, MD)
  3. Huntington VA Medical Center (Huntington, WV)
  4. Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center (Clarksburg, WV)
  5. Martinsburg VA Medical Center (Martinsburg, WV)
  6. Perry Point VA Medical Center (Perry Point, MD)
  7. Washington DC VA Medical Center (Washington, DC)

VISN 6

  1. Hampton VA Medical Center (Hampton, VA)
  2. Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center (Richmond, VA)
  3. Salem VA Medical Center (Salem, VA)
  4. W. G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center (Salisbury, NC)

VISN 16

  1. Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (Little Rock, AR and North Little Rock, AR)
  2. Fayetteville VA Medical Center (Fayetteville, NC)
  3. G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center (Jackson, MS)
  4. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (Houston, TX)
  5. Overton Brooks VA Medical Center (Shreveport, LA)
  6. VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System (Biloxi, MS)
  7. VA Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (New Orleans, LA)

VISN 17

  1. VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (Harlingen, TX)

VISN 19

  1. Cheyenne VA Medical Center (Cheyenne, WY)
  2. Grand Junction VA Medical Center (Grand Junction, CO)
  3. Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center (Muskogee, OK)
  4. Sheridan VA Medical Center (Sheridan, WY)
  5. VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System (Denver, CO)
  6. VA Montana Health Care System (Fort Harrison, MT)

VISN 20

  1. Alaska VA Healthcare System (Anchorage, AK)
  2. Boise VA Medical Center (Boise, ID)
  3. Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center (Walla Walla, WA)
  4. Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (Spokane, WA)
  5. VA Puget Sound Health Care System (Seattle, WA and Lakewood, WA)
  6. Roseburg VA Medical Center (Roseburg, OR)
  7. VA Portland Health Care System (Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA)
  8. VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center (White City, OR)

VISN 21

  1. San Francisco VA Medical Center (San Francisco, CA)
  2. VA Central California Health Care System (Fresno, CA)
  3. VA Northern California Health Care System (Mather, CA and Martinez, CA)
  4. VA Pacific Islands Health Care System (Honolulu, HI)
  5. VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System (Reno, NV)
  6. VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System (North Las Vegas, NV)

VISN 22

  1. Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (Prescott, AZ)
  2. Phoenix VA Health Care System (Phoenix, AZ)
  3. VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System (Los Angeles, CA)
  4. VA Loma Linda Healthcare System (Loma Linda, CA and Redlands, CA)
  5. VA Long Beach Healthcare System (Long Beach, CA)
  6. VA San Diego Healthcare System (San Diego, CA)

To learn more about Veteran Appointment Review and to see if your local Medical Center has been added visit: https://mobile.va.gov/app/veteran-appointment-request