I'm so sorry to hear about your brother's hip. The VA, as I recall, has a really good ortho / physical therapy program, so he's definitely in the right place.
I don't know when your friend was at the VA, but as I understand it (from veterans and from several VA staff members), any veteran in good standing (DD214 - honorable discharge) is eligible for treatment at any VA facility.
It may not be free treatment, but they can and will be treated. There may be a copay involved or coordination of benefits with an insurance company, but I've never known of anyone being turned away or refused treatment. You may want to have him contact them again.
I know the hospital here in Arizona has undergone a major process reorganization in the last year, which has improved screening, clinic assignments and follow-up care.
Fiance had HCV, cirrhosis, ESLD, ascites, and portal hypertension. Was transplanted June 2004. Now, on interferon and ribavirin. Hepatitis C is back.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.