The Next 72 Hours – 3 Things Veterans Must Do During Civilian Emergency Room Visits

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VA Emergency Room Fee Basis

With the changing landscape at VA concerning emergency civilian care, there are a couple easy steps veterans must take in order to not get stuck with the bill.

This issue recently came up for me. Two months ago, I had symptoms of a heart attack. With our baby in tow, my wife proceeded to take me to the local emergency room in the suburbs of the Twin Cities for immediate help. Luckily, I did not die and am now feeling better.

But, had I failed to take a couple key steps, my pocket book would have taken a huge $6,000 hit, and that is what I wanted to write about today.

Emergency Care And VA Fee Basis

VA has a great program called fee basis that may cover certain veterans when they seek emergency care if entitled to the coverage. Generally speaking, this coverage is only applicable, however, if you provide notice to VA within 72 hours of admission.

Personally, I provided notice to my local VA medical center about the matter within the 72-hour window, but after two months of hearing nothing from VA, I grew a little concerned.

There is nothing like staring a $6,000 ER bill in the face to make you concerned. Again, luckily, I was covered, but many veterans out there get saddled with an ER bill either because they fail to take the required steps for coverage or because VA makes an adverse decision about the nature of their emergency.

I do not intend to discuss the latter scenario here, but I will address the first.

Here was my experience this week and things you need to know to make sure you do not need to cut a huge check to cover your non-VA emergency visit.

First, if you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, go to the nearest emergency room you believe can provide the care you need.

Second, once there, be sure to inform the financial counselor that you are a disabled veteran who receives health care from the local VA medical center. Usually, the financial counselor is the person who comes into your emergency room to get your insurance information. Provide the actual name of the facility for their records.

The latter step obviously only applies to veterans who are conscious.

Third, be sure to ask the doctor or family member to contact VA to inform the agency that you are in the emergency room.

Personally, I prefer to make communications like this in writing and keep the record in case the inquiry gets lost.

You can use the IRIS system, fax in a letter to the local VA, or do some combination of both. Your emergency room staff should have the contact information for the local VA if it is in that region.

What I Did

For me, I contacted VA using the IRIS system immediately after I was discharged to provide “notice” of the incident to VA since I was within the 72-hour window. I then faxed in the IRIS routing number along with a brief explanation of why, when, and where I was seen to the Minneapolis VA.

The billing process usually takes a few months, and I did not hear back.

Today, I was not sure who to contact locally to find out where my claim was at within the process, so I called (877) 222-VETS (8387). An operator at that number transferred me to the correct fee basis office within the Minneapolis VA system.

The local number for that office is (612) 725-2019. This number will be different for each VA facility.

The fee basis operator there provided the name and number of the contact person responsible for my specific claim.

While on the phone, I also asked about a few details about the claim process for the purpose of reporting any new information back to my readers.

There is a new thing I was previously unaware of.

Whenever a disabled veteran has one rating of 50% or higher, VA is to be listed as the primary payer on the account. The operator informed me this was a newer change.

This may be important for veterans with at least one rating for one disability that is at least 50% disabling. In that instance, such veterans may have an easier time getting coverage than having to haggle with their own insurance, if they have it, and that insurance has a deductible.

Now, there is case law developing in this area, and VA is in the process of adjusting its policies when it comes to payment of emergency room visits.

In the past, problems have arising where veterans were stuck with the cost of the health care. Hopefully, new changes are on the horizon that will help resolve this kind of problem.

This aside, you need to remember that all veterans cases are unique and different. Not everyone will have the same entitlement or similar experiences. Each situation is different.

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Jo3n
Jo3n

@Seymour Klearly, this is another big deal. Meshkin, you rat bastard

Jo3n
Jo3n

It’s looking like states that paid Medicare premiums for some of us, may not be doing that for long. I have a choice now, VA or Medicare. I don’t know what the premium will be. I think the cost will definitely have an affect. Hope I’m seeing it wrong. I do that occasionally.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

Service connected veterans with PTSD and other conditions will be labled as preconditions and the VA will make them pay for their service connected disability.

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@Ex va,@ANutterVet: You guys awake?

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@Jo3n: Hey Jo3n, hows trix?

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Okay folks, goodnight. Will talk another time. God Bless, and see ya on the flip side.

Ex va
Ex va

@Crazy elf, they cannot refuse to treat you. that is unlawful. It does not matter if you have insurance/not insurance they cannot refuse to treat you. All hospitals, medical center, clinics have to give medical treatment if it requested. A lot of the homeless are Veterans and do not have credentials to identify themselves and they are treated if they ask for treatment at a va medical center of clinic.

As far as what the can be charge your insurance, the va can only charge at the Medicare rate. If you are receiving explanation of benefits (EOB) and the charges are more that what Medicare charges that would be fraud. The fee base (Choice program) is not being monitored by an oversight agency.
the monies received will be treated as money to fund the medical center in any capacity the manager decide.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

I’m having a hard time figuring out why veterans with insurance are seeking care at the VA ?

I also wonder if veterans that have been reported to the disruptive committee are the one’s given priority to use choice.

I have read that the VA does this to veteran’s they claim have been accused of being disruptive or could become disruptive in the future.

Which VA employees are in charge of the crystal ball. They use it just like the man behind the curtain in the wizard of OZ.

Saying what he wants to fool the people !

May, could, possible, in the future become disruptive ! Really !

Might as well throw down chicken bones also to see the future.

91Veteran
91Veteran

James,

I can only speak for myself as to why I go to the VA while having health insurance.

1. When I enlisted, I was promised health care for medical conditions or injuries that occurred while I was in service.

2. Congress sent me to a battlefield, not my insurance agent.

3. Congress has given billions to the VA to provide health care to veterans with service connected medical conditions. If the VA can pay for bonuses, interior designers and art, they can provide health care to service connected vets.

4. Why should I jeapordize the health insurance I pay for for myself and my family by allowing the VA to bill them for service connected conditions?

5. When I go to the VA and encounter problems, I do what I can to address those problems so other veterans might not have to face them. I can go to a private doctor for everything and pay out of pocket, but then I would be abandoning my fellow veterans who cannot do so to a diaster.

6. As long as congress uses the taxes I pay to fund free health care, school, welfare, housing, etc., for illegal aliens, they should hold up their promise to veterans injured or sickened while serving this nation.

7. Who decides whether a veterans injury is worthy of care either at the VA or through Choice? Battlefield gunshots but not IEDs? A bayonet wound but not being run over by a truck? Grenade fragments but not lung problems from Burn Pits?

8. What if any veteran with insurance has a service connected condition, and they were not allowed to go to the VA because of that insurance, and that service connected condition worsened requiring extensive medical care?

namnibor
namnibor

@James Gallegos– Chicken Bone Tossing Therapy (CBTT) is highly valued healthcare brought over with Ebola and other mud hut gifts that keep giving and shared with we Veterans at the VA.

I am starting to wonder if the VHA is welfare for Dr.’s and medical professionals that cannot work in private sector because of their severe allergies to accountability??

Like a Federal Welfare Works Program: The Black Hole: The VA.

Ex va
Ex va

@Seymore Klearly, i do not like these attacks against Ben’s blog and the bloggers. This needs to be dealt with and swiftly. I do not want interference on this site and malicious intent against Veterans who are looking for help and comradeship from other Veterans. Veterans come here looking for help and information to help them dealing with the va medical system. Thank you for all the work you and Ben do at dealing with these trolls and others who do nothing but to continue to cause Veterans trouble and confusion with their condescending attitude and rudeness and misinformation about va services.

Thanks again for all the information you notify us about and the trollers who change their identities. Thanks for having our six. Best wishes.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

Could this possibility being done by someone out of the Secretaries office?

Remember Ben met with McDonald and his employees have acceded this site.

Ex va
Ex va

-.-. .—, sorry i missed you bro. I had family over an she was upset with the in laws i don’t know if they every get this stuff straightened out too much power control BS. Talk to later hope to be on here earlier. Take care.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Here’s something that was out on Friday, yet only got posted today, from:
“Military.com/Daily News”
Titled:
“Lawmakers Battle Over Whether New Health Care Bill Hurts Vets!”

dated;
5 May 2017 | Butcher Richard Disk

In the article, it says veterans were able to get healthcare through the ACA (Obamacare)! Even if we had our healthcare through the (VA!
I remember some people on here saying the opposite on this issue!
Y’all might want to read this article!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Sorry about the typing. New phone!

FLB
FLB

My voice will be louder than ever!

Rick b
Rick b

VA screws me again….. off topic!

Checked ebenefits today, and it looks like

I received service connection for my sleep apnea, but not a separate rating, it was combined with my rating of asthma/copd which was already 100%.

I was denied service connection for my left knee secondary to my right knee, I even had an independent medical opinion, and both opinions were opposite and I did not get the benefit of the doubt.

My doctor wrote a good statement concerning the sleep apnea and that it should be rated by itself since apnea is not a lung disease, but a disease of the upper airways ( throat, and nose) and has nothing to do with the lungs, He even sited a case that he won at the BVA level with the same exact statement, and it was apparently ignored.

I think the doctors statement however will make it harder for me to win on appeal concerning the knee.

I really won’t know the whole story until I see the decision letter.. but I don’t give up easy.

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

DON’T GIVE UP THEY WIN IF YOU DO

Jo3n
Jo3n

There’s way too much crap going on. I had to stop reading all the sites. I’ve come to the conclusion, I’m just gonna wait and see. I have been getting too stressed out. I’m not healthy enough to march, contacting Alabama Senators, is a waste of time, and being angry all the time isn’t getting it. I really don’t know what to do, or even say anymore. God Bless the Veterans and their families. @dots and dashes, what’s trix? Take care…

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@Jo3n: How’s Trix=How’s thing’s. Not dash dot!!! cj. Hell I guess it doesn’t matter, you decide.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Jo3n – – – What I’ve done is to only participate on Ben’s site. And, I still need to take breaks, or to monitor how much energy and time that I’m going to put into posting. Try to find a balance, this is normal when a Veteran both needs and wants changes to happen with VA’s rules, guidelines, and policies. The VA is ever changing, unfortunately not in our favor. You know what refreshes you, so try to do more of that. I know how you feel, I felt this way many times, and still do. VA is a monster to even try to understand, so I don’t. I post when I’m aggravated, frustrated, pissed off, posting information stuffs, or to encourage other Veterans. As far as the VA goes, their good at manipulating, they’ve been doing this for decades. Don’t let them pull you off base. Hang in there. – – – Nutter.

figure8fan
figure8fan

Jo3n,
I was a regular poster on here for a couple of years. I had to take a break. I still read everything what was put on here, I just did not post. ANuterVet is right, do more of what you like. If you still want to read things on here do so. If you feel something is posted that you want to post, then post.
I have contacted my Senator, the media, and every worthless person at the management level in the Roudebush VAMC and nothing has helped. I even stated earler that i was going to leave the VAMC and go with my private insurance. I am not reconsidering that. I think I may cancel my private insurance and continue to fight the VA.
f8f

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Ex va, @dash dot – – – I’m still dealing with balancing out my microbial gut flora. Its been very uncomfortable, challenging, and costly. VA is no help at all, even though there are loads of data online correlating unbalanced digestive microbes with certain medications. They always use that dam Evidence/Experienced-Based Medication to treat patients. The only way the VA will prescribe their low-end Probiotics [only two strains in the tabs], is if I was on antibiotics. They’ve been a pain in the butt. I’ll be dropping in on and off. Also been trying to get more structured time management into my life as well. Its been hard to concentrate and focus to get things in order. – – – Later, Nutter

Jo3n
Jo3n

@ANutterVet, you do good stuff here. I see so many of y’all as much stronger; and in all honesty, many of you are most likely going through a harder time than I. Encouraging other Veterans to speak up. I’m working on finding my focus. Not easy at all with daily influx of contradicting stories. Then, I have no clue as to what’s next. Thanks. I wish we could get the politics over with, but I don’t see that happening…..

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@Jo3n: I hear you Jo3n, I wish we could go just one damn day, without hearing about politics. Just one damn day!!!!! Is that to much to ask for? God, I miss the good old days!!!!

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Later gators.

namnibor
namnibor

@Jo3n- Seeing how I have been seeing a Gastro Specialists for many years and initially had every test under sun, while trying to bring me back from the VA giving me C-DIFF, which decimated my gut flora and was in and out of hospital for year and half…my private Gastro Specialist recommended I try just eating some sauerkraut with my meals for a week or so…I am not a fan of it but I did no because it’s like anything else that’s properly fermented, there’s many enzymes and bacteria there that are healthy for our guts in that fermentation process, but key is “active”…and yogurts and over the counter probiotics did not help one bit….but the sauerkraut finally did the trick. Hope this helps.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Namnibor – – – Thanks. I’ve been eating kraut daily, probiotics, insoluble fiber [prebiotic- food for probiotics]. And reducing feeding foods. – – – Nutter

Jo3n
Jo3n

I was just contacted via credit consolidation company . They said, I filled out an application today for their services . I didn’t . They said I better look out for fraud . Oh well . What’s next ? Good to hear ya, dash dot.

Jim nose
Jim nose

72 hour bullshit. Where did they come up with that stupid duration? What if your in a coma
or some other situation where you unable to do anything for several days or weeks?
How about 72 hours after your released from hospital? Ill compromise 48 hours after release.
Joke: Guy goes to doctor. Doctor says you have 1 month to live. Then gives him a bill
for $10,000. Guy says I can’t paid that bill in 1 month.
So doctor says ok I’ll you 6 months.:)

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@Jim nose: I think it was a misprint in our favor. Knowing the VA, they meant 72 hours in advance. Shine up that crystal ball.

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, @ANutterVet, how is it going? ANutterVet, glad you are getting into time management. I am trying to go into that direction also. How’s your tomatoes going -.-. .—? I hope you both are doing good. I am getting out more. Finally some rain free days.

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@Ex va,@ANutterVet: Hey Ex, how’s you? I finished making those garden hoes. Was going to finish planting a few veggies, but weather guy said maybe frost. Will get er done tomorrow. Woo hoo no rain for you, that is good news for your neck of the woods. Nutter, you have the computer all fixed?

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, good to hear from you. You have been busy. Good job!! You have your tools built!! Frost?? I hope not for you! Thank God! i hope the rain is over with. Did you get your Linux fixed yet?

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@Ex va: LOL, lemme see, I was able to root, then mount the drives, the chroot /mnt. Was able to manage an update, then blew out my drive id. Got that all fixed, now back to square one only with an updated system………
I will get back at it later………now it is a damn challenge.

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“then chroot /mnt’ not (the chroot /mnt )

Ex va
Ex va

-.-. .—, your talking way over my head on this computer tech stuff. Lol! Glad you are getting it fixed. I know a few things about a tower, not much. Lol! I have green strawberries they are starting to get big. The June bearers i guess. I have everbears too.

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@Ex va: Excellent, you have berries already. I think I have found a place to plant my tomatoes. I will know tomorrow. I use to take care of the elderly woman across the street until she passed away. One of her caregivers lives just out of town, on a farm. I forgot all about her, damn tbi bs. I will stop by and ask if she is interested in renting some land. I will plant pop corn and sweet corn for her and her family, and give her a basket of fresh veggies a week during harvest.

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, i hope you get to use some land to plant your extra vegetables. That would be great. I have some other projects to get done this year, if i can. I don’t know if i can get a small bed going. Maybe in the fall. Money is tight with the electric and medical stuff.

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@Ex va: I hear you, money is very tight, damn bills, and medical. NO luxury either, like those fucking AFGE rat bastards.

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, seems like i get ahead just a little and something else goes on. I will have some things payed off, but i need some work done. Geesh. That is life i guess. If you have anything you have to take care of it. Unless, your full time RVing. But then if you break down your still in the same boat.

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@Ex va: So true. I need to win the lottery, that is the ONLY way I will ever get ahead. Need to invent something like the garden weasel. OH I got it, ” the VA weasel” a new tool to weed out the heavily entrenched AFGE/SES union piggies. Oh never mind, the 338 lapua already exists. Just kidding union assholes……..relax……..or am I?????? only the shadow knows.

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, ???..? the va weasel. lol! that is funny. Need to get that government contract for the va weasel to help cleanup the weeds in the va garden bed!! Need major reform!!!! You could patent the garden hand rototiller. Make some more garden money.

Weasel could be a metaphor for people that work a the va!!! Hahahaha!!!

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@Ex va: No rototiller for the VA, we need a roto rooter for that job. Cleaaaan them pipes, get aall that crud out of there.

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, ?⬅️? rototiller rooter cleanout the va ? ? ?.

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@Ex va: LOL, you are having too much fun with that rooter scooter.

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@Ex va: There is a way to roll back an update. I keep the last 5 updates in the package manager. For some reason, it will not roll back the update, and when I work my way to the desktop, I can see all my drives are mounted, (like a usb is being shown as mounted on your desktop” This is strange, and I can’t unmount the drives, not by trying to eject them, or by issuing commands from the terminal. It is sure a head-scratcher at the moment. I will figure it out, there are no locked files. not network connections, and my drives are un-accessible. I can look around, read files, pdf’s, play movies, listen to music, I just can’t transfer, or connect to the net. A mystery I will crack. It is good to hear your getting out more.

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, that is strange that you cannot connect to the internet. Something has you locked out from it? Strange. If everything else is working doesn’t make sense. I had an isp lock me out if they thought i was on the internet too much. It was like over 4 hours they kicked you off. If it was a certain time of day they kicked you off their bandwidth wasn’t good. This was like over 10 years ago. I haven’t been on the internet that much over the weekend. I was trying to keep up with the articles and bloggers.

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@Ex va: Not locked out by the isp. I have connection on all other computers and tablets.
During an update I lost my internet. When you are updating certain onboard systems are locked out as a security measure. The problem is, my system still thinks it is in the middle of an update. I can’t seem to bypass this state. There is no documentation for this kind of trouble. Some have asked, but no answers as of yet. It is all logic, so it won’t be long before I figure it out on my own.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Dash dot, I can only guess a lock it out on a file when it’s doing an update.

Any logs available to see where the update failed? It might point to where the lock is.

Was it updating when it failed? Or was it downloading and applying updates as it downloaded?

Was it simply package updates? Or was it a kernel update?

Do you know if any package updates were for any firewall software or network driver files?

I can’t understand why your networking would fail from an update.

Is it possible there is a system state file that is set that is causing your system to think it’s still being updated?

Just some thoughts.

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@91Veteran: All of the above, kernel update, system update, isp outage. No clues in journalctl, sessions log. I can log in as a user, or root, then have to restart gdm desktop manager, to get back to my desktop. Then on the desktop I can see all drives, ( dev/ sda1, 2,3,4) as if they were usb drives. This is not normal. They can’t be unmounted, either through ejection, or unounting with terminal commands. Since the drives are​ in use, they can’t be accessed for transferring​ data. Also locked out of the network manager, as it still thinks it is in the middle of an update. The solution on the Arch Linux wiki, is to do a kernel roll back, of course this fails to roll back. I will eventually chase it down.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I’m at a loss as to what to suggest. Do your updates retain old kernels? If so, is it possible to boot into an older kernel and try force an update?

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@91Veteran: I have the last 6 kernels in the pacman cache at all times. It won’t take a proper roll back even with a –force flag attached. Soon enough I will track it down. Like I said, now it’s a challenge.

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@91Veteran: Crazy thing is, I boot from an install drive, mount /mnt and mount /mnt /boot, chroot, and am able to update to the latest kernel. Exit, umount all / mnt points, and reboot. I still end up in the same place only with an updated kernel. How’s that for some mind fuckery? LoL

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

mine was doing the same bullshit i just started deleting shit that didn’t look right i must have gotten lucky

Ex va
Ex va

-.-. .—, so you know where the problem is at or what the computer is doing you don’t know how to bypass this state, that is more than i could do. Lol. At least you are on the right track and know what is going on. I really would like to do more garden stuff. My dishwasher ruined part of the floor from leaking it was an old dishwasher. It is going to take some work. Need to hire someone. Need to add gravel to drive too. Just have to take one thing at a time. Summer is about fixing stuff that happened throughout the year. So it seems. Lol.

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@Ex va: vicious cycle, always something ready to peal money away from your hand. Just when you think you have it all covered, something else breaks down, or an unexpected expense rears it’s ugly head. I can’t wait till I pass away, no more bills, and lots n lots of rest. lol

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, well you will have to push up those daisies. Lol. I miss working i probably give anything to go back to it. The gardening i was hoping to do but it is just going to have to wait a little longer. I am going to make the bed like you said. Take the dirt from around it and put it in the raised bed. I think i will get my neighbor to rototiller it and my son in law to do the filling. Lol. Neither knows this plan yet. Lol.

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@Ex va: It is an evil despicable plan…………………I LOVE IT!!! hahaha just kidding. It is a good plan, make sure you do it in a place where if you dig out the dirt around it, that where the dirt came from doesn’t fill up with water.

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, you are right i could do it on a slight slope in the yard. I was thinking about laying some bricks down and sand too. But this is going to be really small. A little at a time. I am diabolical, lol. I Know they would be happy to help me i give them a hand when they need it. Lately not so much, but i am going to try to get back to where i was tired of this stuff.

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@Ex va: It is a good plan. Gotta keep moving, you stop, it is all over. Never give in, it may be painful, but at least your living life, and not being locked down, and away from it.

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, you are right when you stop you get into trouble. I had some friends who just gave up and that was it. I think as long as you keep trying that is what keeps you going. Seeing everything green again helps a lot. Good weather helps me.

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@Ex va: Busy week, been tired all weekend, and last part of last week, now tonight? I can’t seem to calm down, all hyper. I am sure the morphine will kik in, and I won’t be so hyper.

Ex va
Ex va

-.-. .—, know that feeling. Hate it when i can’t calm down from anxiety. That sucks. Trying to do a few things everyday. It helps. I don’t feel so bad when i do. My brain doesn’t want to shut down sometimes. If i do somethings to work it a little it helps me.

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@Ex va: yes, working it a bit helps, sometimes. Sometimes working it does the opposite, can’t win.

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@Ex va: Ex, I can’t sit in this chair much longer. I will have to get some rest soon.

Ex va
Ex va

@-.-. .—, good to hear from you. Don’t let your back get to hurting it you need to go you do it. God Bless you and yours. Talk to you later. Take care.

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@Ex va: Sorry Ex, I need to call it a night. Hope you sleep well, God Bless you and your family. Will catch you tomorrow night. Goodnight.

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