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VA Puget Sound Health Care System


News: Urgent Care services at American Lake

December 23, 2009

No Onsite Emergency Care Services at the American Lake Division of VA Puget Sound

Dear Veteran:

It is important that our patients, as a matter of safety, understand that there are no emergency services available at our American Lake Division.  Please call 911 if you feel you have a life threatening medical emergency, or go to the nearest emergency room in your community.

At our American Lake Division, we do have an urgent care clinic.  The urgent care clinic is for ambulatory patients with an illness or injury that requires professional attention in a Doctor’s office setting, and who believe their condition is not life threatening, but whose treatment cannot wait more than 24 hours without the condition becoming worse. The urgent care clinic is not a substitute for emergency room care. It is also not a good substitute for meeting routine primary care needs.

Urgent Care Services at American Lake:

Effective February 1, 2010, hours for the Urgent Care clinic at American Lake are Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 6:00pm with no weekend, evening, or holiday hours.

The VA’s Tele-health line may be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: (253) 583-2273

Primary Care at American Lake:

Patients are encouraged to schedule Primary Care appointments Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm for their general health care concerns and to discuss non-emergent health care needs.

Primary Care at American Lake will continue to expand to give patients better reliance on Primary Care for their routine health care needs rather than utilizing Urgent Care for this purpose.

Questions about Emergency Room coverage can be directed to our Fee Services Office at: (800) 329-8387 or (253) 582-8440 ext.*64545. Specific questions about your health care should be directed to your Primary Care provider.   It is our goal is to provide best quality of Primary and Specialty Care to our patients residing in the Puget Sound region.


DeWayne Hamlin
Acting Director

More information about VA Criteria for paying for emergency care can be found here. (links to pdf)
More information about VA Criteria concerning the Prudent Layperson Standard can be found here. (links to pdf)