United States Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Health Care Upstate New York - VISN 2

TelCare - Medical Advice Line

What is TelCare?
TelCare, 1-888-838-7890, is a toll-free medical advice line for veterans. It is a program of qualified professionals who will speak to you directly to answer your health care questions 24 hours per day, 7 days per week (including weekends and holidays) throughout the VA Healthcare System Upstate New York.

When possible, please call us before you go to the Emergency Department.

What can TelCare do?
  • Assist you and your family members with questions and concerns about your health
  • Advise the proper course of treatment based on the urgency of your symptoms using VA- approved guidelines
  • Act as a bridge between you and your primary care provider through the use of computerized clinical documentation
  • Provide education regarding diseases and medications
  • Clarify pre- and post-procedure instructions
  • Clarify/explain inpatient hospitalization discharge instructions
TelCare Can Not:
  • Give lab, X-ray or other special test results. Your provider will give you that information via phone or letter
  • Schedule routine appointments
  • Transfer calls to other hospital departments, inpatient rooms or your primary care doctor
  • Give out telephone extensions/numbers
  • Request refills from the pharmacy
  • Schedule specialty appointments (cardiology, orthopedics, audiology, etc.)
  • Enroll patients into primary care
  • Provide authorization for payment of services provided by non-VA facilities (including ambulance transportation)
  • Provide or fax patient records to non-VA facilities
Medications, tests and special procedures can be frightening if you don't understand them. Call TelCare for further explanation — we can help.

TelCare 1-888-838-7890
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know my doctor will get the message I leave?
The TelCare nurse will answer your call and notify your provider about what action has been taken. We can also let your provider know about questions that cannot be answered or problems that cannot be resolved. We do this by sending a progress note to your provider, which becomes a part of your medical record.

Why should I call TelCare?
The TelCare staff may be able to take care of your problems over the phone. You may not need to make a trip to the Medical Center Emergency Department.

If you are in the midst of an emergency, hang up and dial 911!

If you have questions about health care benefits or eligibility, contact the Veterans Service Contact Center at 1-888-823-9656.
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