There are many health care services in Central Texas for military, civilians and veterans, though implementation of the Affordable Care Act has changed established insurance options. Visit www.healthcare.gov for information on open enrollment for health care coverage under the national Affordable Care Act. Texas currently has multiple carriers that offer many different plans to its residents. The Texas Department of Insurance offers the useful Texas Health Compare service (www.texashealthoptions.com/compare/index.html) that can help applicants find high-quality care that meets their budget.
See the Military Buyer’s Guide to connect with local hospitals and medical centers, health care centers and health care providers.
COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE CLINICS AND RESOURCES
A community health center or clinic is customarily the place to go for those who have no health insurance or have limited income or ability to pay medical fees. Such clinics accept most insurance and provide affordable, comprehensive health care by well-trained, professional staff. They also serve those who are uninsured and underinsured, and most are open to making sliding scale payment arrangements based on income and family size.
For a full list of community health centers in Texas, visit the Texas Association of Community Health Centers website at www.tachc.org/find-healthcare-center.
The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners website, http://tsbde.texas.gov, can help you verify a dentist with its public license search. Select “Resources” from the home page and select “Public License Search” to verify a dentist, hygienist, dental assistant or dental laboratory. You can also seek referrals from people you know who’ve had dental care in the area.
Consider the following to find the best dentist for your needs.
- Are the dentist’s office hours convenient for your schedule?
- Is the dental office close to your home or office?
- How are dental emergencies handled?
- Does the office appear to be clean and well organized?
- Is the staff helpful and friendly?
- What are the dental office’s financial policies and how is insurance handled?
The Oral Health Improvement Program of the Texas Department of State Health Services works with various partners across the state to identify the oral health needs of Texans and the resources to meet those needs. Visit its website at www.dshs.texas.gov/dental.
FINDING A LOCAL DOCTOR
Before you arrive at your new assignment, you can check the American Medical Association’s online physician directory at https://doctorfinder.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder. You can browse for a provider by type or by location. This should give you a preview of the local medical practitioners as well as where you might need to go for specialized care.
Personal referrals from friends or other medical personnel can add to your options.
You can check a doctor’s certification at the American Board of Medical Specialties at www.abms.org. To see if anyone has registered a complaint or taken disciplinary action against the doctor, visit the Texas Medical Board at www.tmb.state.tx.us. When you have selected a health care provider, consider the following.
- When you scheduled your appointment, was the receptionist friendly, prompt and professional? Did he or she take time to answer your questions? Were you left on hold too long?
- When you arrived for your appointment, were you greeted promptly? Was the reception area clean and comfortable? Was the staff friendly and willing to answer your questions?
- Did you have to wait long in the exam room before the doctor arrived? Was the exam room orderly and clean, with a chair for a family member?
- When the doctor arrived and introduced himself or herself, did he or she seem rushed or tired? Did you get a good first impression?
- During the consultation, did nurses or assistants pop in and out? Did the doctor seem caring, compassionate and sympathetic to your concerns? Did you feel comfortable revealing personal information? Did the doctor rush through the meeting?
Treat finding a doctor as seriously as looking for a new job or a new home. You want to be comfortable with the person who will see you while you are most vulnerable.
Veterans are served within Veterans Integrated Service Network 17 — the VA Heart of Texas Health Care Network, with the nearest major medical center in Waco, about an hour away from Fort Hood. VISN 17 encompasses most of the state of Texas, 240,000 square miles, and nearly 719,000 veterans are enrolled for care within the network, with eight medical centers (the eighth joining the network in 2019) and 31 community-based outpatient clinics to serve them throughout Texas and the eastern border of New Mexico. The closest community-based outpatient clinic is less than an hour away in Cedar Park.
Doris Miller Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
4800 Memorial Drive
Waco, TX 76711 254-752-6581
Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center
1901 Veterans Memorial Drive
Temple, TX 76504 254-778-4811
The main Central Texas Veteran Health Care System (CTVHCS) campus is at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center in Temple. The Temple Campus is a full-service, 146-bed teaching hospital that serves as the medical/surgical referral center for all CTVHCS campuses as well as providing outpatient services to veterans across the 32-county service catchment area. The Doris Miller Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Waco is a psychiatric facility that provides inpatient psychiatric care, nursing home care to psychogeriatric patients and includes a Women Recover In Supportive Environment residential program. Additionally, the Seriously Mentally Ill Life Empowerment Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program provides services to individuals with a severe mental illness.
The following is a list of outpatient clinics and the vet center in Austin. For a full list of clinics and other facilities, go to www.centraltexas.va.gov/locations/index.asp.
Cedar Park Clinic
600 N. Bell Blvd.
Cedar Park, TX 78673 512-219-2340
Temple VA Clinic
4501 S. General Bruce Drive
Temple, TX 76502 254-743-1603
Austin Vet Center
2015 S. I.H. 35, Southcliff Bldg., Suite 101
Austin, TX 78741 512-416-1314
Texas Department of Veterans Affairs
2301 East Lamar Blvd., Suite 650
Arlington, TX 76006 817-652-1111
Veterans Crisis Hotline 800-273-8255
The Department of Veterans Affairs improves the quality of life for Texas’ veterans, military and their families by increasing awareness and access to appropriate federal, state and local resources.
It operates one service office in the area:
Waco Regional Office
701 Clay Ave.
Waco, TX 76799 318-741-8391/8392
HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL CENTERS
Because emergencies can happen without warning, it is prudent to know where to go when they happen. Saving minutes in a crisis can mean saving a life. Knowing what services are available, and where, can make all the difference. Visit the following websites for more information on local hospital and medical center services.
Advent Health Central Texas
2201 S. Clear Creek Road
Killeen, TX 76549 254-526-7523
Baylor Scott and White Memorial Center
2401 S. 31st St.
Temple, TX 76508 254-754-2111
Cedar Crest Hospital
3500 Interstate 35 Frontage Road
Belton, TX 76513 254-781-3217
Coryell Memorial Hospital
1507 W. Main St.
Gatesville, TX 76528 254-865-28510
Seton Medical Center Harker Heights
850 W. Central Texas Expressway
Harker Heights, TX 76548 254-690-0900
PUBLIC HEALTH CARE
Texas Department of State Health Services
1100 W. 49th St.
Austin, TX 78756 512-776-7111
Toll free 888-963-7111
The state department of health works to protect and improve the health and well-being of all Texans. The agency — created in 2003 through the merger of the Texas Department of Health, Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Texas Health Care Information Council, and Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse — provides state-operated health care services, including hospitals, health centers and health agencies.
The department’s main office is in Austin with 11 administrative regions; the Central Texas area is represented locally by Public Health Region 7 in Temple.
Local health units offer many different services, including communicable disease investigation and intervention, family planning, immunizations, STD counseling and testing, WIC and nutrition services, women’s health services and more. Services vary by location. A listing of local health units in Central Texas follows. For a full list of local health units in Region 7, their hours of operation and their available services, visit www.dshs.texas.gov/region7/fieldofficelocations.shtm.
312 S. Main, Suite 102
Copperas Cove, TX 76522 254-547-8383
3418 E. Main
Gatesville, TX 76528 254-865-7483