HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- The Hampton VA Medical Center launched VEText on Wednesday, a text messaging system to remind veterans of appointments.

The text messages will help cut down on the more than 9 million national VA healthcare appointments unused each year due to missed appointments.

Veterans with a cell phone on file will receive a text message reminder for most appointments seven days, and two days before the appointment. Veterans will have the opportunity to confirm or cancel the appointment by responding to the message.

Standard text messaging rates will apply.

According to the Hampton VA Medical Center, private health information will not be included in the texts.

Veterans who would like to receive texts can update their information with VA staff. They will also be able to opt out of future texts after receiving the first text.

Personal and/or automated phone calls will still be made to remind patients of appointments. The text message will serve as an additional reminder.

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