Veterans Choice Program May Undergo Massive Change Soon

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Veterans Choice Program

Veterans Affairs is looking to expand the use of Veterans Choice Program by removing the 30-day, 40-mile limitations currently impeding program use.

VA sent new legislation to Congress yesterday outlining the plan that would open up use of Veterans Choice to many veterans where use of private health care merely needs to be in the veteran’s “best interests” rather than precluded by living closer to a VA facility.

Under the existing plan, a veteran can opt for care in the community under Veterans Choice if:

  • The veteran lives more than 40 miles from any VA facility when traveling by car
  • The veteran would need to wait 30 days for a VA care appointment

The use of these two criteria were manipulated by the agency to preclude many deserving veterans of non-VA care. First, VA used a crow flies rule rather than the actual driving distance from the veteran’s home to a VA facility. Second, VA would shuffle around appointments to negate the wait period by continually rescheduling appointments.

How convenient, to game the system designed to prevent wait time scams, VA schedulers created new wait time scams?

The new plan would completely foreclose this kind of situation. Distance is no longer an issue. And, veterans needing to wait are only required to wait a “clinically acceptable time period,” not 30 days. That seems better, but I am confident VA will game that criteria.

The other criteria is if the veteran’s physician decides it is in my best interest. This kind of criteria might apply to me, since I have been warned to watch my back while at a VA medical center. Given that I expose scandals and do not feel safe receiving needed care from any VA medical center, a sane physician might conclude it is in my best interest to only receive health care from a provider who makes me feel safe.

Anyway, that is the new deal. Secretary David Shulkin said he hopes to have a decision back from Congress by mid-November on the plan. I am sure we will see the union and VSOs try to sell us out by falsely claiming all veterans love VA health care and do not want non-VA care.

Personally, I think these folks should prove it. Make it legal. If no veterans seek non-VA care, then I guess that makes me a liar. But I suspect many folks will seek non-VA care from a physician or care provider in their local community like everyone else who lives in their local community.

Makes sense to me. Let’s see what the VSOs say. I am sure it will be some truth mixed with a box of lies.

Source: https://www.stripes.com/news/va-proposes-choice-program-overhaul-that-eliminates-30-day-40-mile-rule-1.492834#.WeWT89OGOCU

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James Clement
James Clement

Good Article, Ben.

“I am sure it will be some truth mixed with a box of lies.” Yep. 1% (being overly-generous) truth. Box of lies big enough to hold the twin towers.

It is high time for some real leadership at the VA. Leadership that speaks truth publicly about how bad things have really gotten. Leadership that develops solutions to take better care of ALL our nations warriors.

Leadership that recognizes that when they are doing a good job – – – it will be veterans singing their praises, rather than the VA needing a PR Agency to put out “Fluff Pieces” to mislead America and her citizen’s about what a stellar they are doing.

They are not. In fact, they are doing a very sub-standard job. The VA has a first-world budget which they use to provide veterans less than third-world medical care.

Current VA leadership has their Brain Housing Group the size of mice and their Hearts no bigger. It is about FIFTEEN YEARS PAST TIME TO FIX THE GODDAMN BROKEN VA:

1. Recognize the problems inherent in the VA are SYSTEM-WIDE, not just limited to a few locations.

2. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee.

3. Sell off all the VA facilities. Alternatively, they may be converted into housing for homeless veterans.

4. Issue all veterans a card that allows them to choose their own doctors within their community that they can TRUST.

5. The United States Government will PAY those doctors promptly (Within 45 days) for the care they provide veterans.

6. ELIMINATE the “Federal Protection” Umbrella for incompetent QUACKS that the VA sends to other states to practice other than their own. Going to practice in Hawaii? You need to be LICENSED in Hawaii. Same applies to all other states.

7. Any claim a veteran submits to the VBA that requires more than 90 days to adjudicate, is automatically found to be in favor of the veteran. If a VBA claim filed by a veteran is found to be a false one designed to scam the system, the VA will have to prove in civil court that a false claim was intentionally submitted.

8. All veterans will be allowed to seek/retain the services of a Veterans Rights Attorney from their first initial contact with the VA.

9. No AFGE, nor any other Labor Union business will be allowed to take place in any Federal Workplace. Conducting Union Business during working hours will be STRICTLY PROHIBITED, and will be STRICTLY ENFORCED. Should any government employee be found violating this provision, it will result in IMMEDIATE LIFETIME DISMISSAL FROM ANY/ALL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYMENT.

10. Attorneys for appeal will be retained at the former employee’s PERSONAL expense. U. S. Taxpayer’s will not be subject to payment of legal bills for incompetent or dishonest personnel with regards to Governmental Employment.

You have my contact information Mr. President. Call me anytime. I have a lot of ideas to help this nation improve the services provided to my fellow veterans. The ones that were promised, but have yet to be delivered upon. Veterans have been waiting for over fifty years for the fulfillment of those promises. I will not hesitate to speak up at all.

For my fellow veterans who have been ill-served by this DERAILED CLUSTERFUCK of a GOD AWFUL TRAIN WRECK CALLED THE VA over the years:

Our battles overseas were far less stressful than our war here at home. Never Cruel or cowardly. Never Give Up. Never Give In. We are on the Righteous path.

POTUS Reagan broke up PATCO in the ’80’s. Time for POTUS Trump to break up the AFGE. The vast majority of our current Congress Critters do NOT have Veterans Interests at heart. Perhaps their replacements will. VOTE OUT all these WORTHLESS BASTARDS.

Give their replacement’s one term to take care of Veterans who put aside their own personal lives to answer this nation’s call when she needed them. Many of those Veterans suffer the remainder of their lives for doing what most of their countrymen had not the courage to do.

If they cannot MUSTER THE STONES to do it properly – – – vote their worthless asses out as well. Party should NOT MATTER. What SHOULD MATTER is their VOTING RECORDS ON VETERANS ISSUES.

Rhetoric is cheap. Congressional Voting Records speak louder than words.

NO Combat Veteran should be surprised when the next McVeigh, Congressional Baseball Team, or Las Vegas Sniper Incident occurs. Bound to happen. Just a matter of time . . .

We have now reached the next accelerative phase of our country falling apart. Country before Party. Principles before Personalities. Always.

Want to REALLY fix the VA? The next SecVA needs to be a former Enlisted Man brought in from the general veteran population with a few serious axes to grind against the VA and the AFGE, with zero previous governmental civilian service.

Apparently, Former Flag Officers and SES appointed Civilians can’t cut the
mustard . . .

Maybe a SINCERELY MOTIVATED Gunnery Sergeant or Chief Petty Officer CAN.

Disgruntled Veteran
1973 – 1976 USMC
1978 – 1993 USN
Wounded Warrior
Honolulu, Hawaii

namnibor
namnibor

G8 article, Ben. “Best Choice” is quite often seen as a very generic brand of anything in local dollar stores. “Best Choice” is utilized by those of us wayward souls on very limited budgets, so “Best” is completely based on perspective and with the VA, it’s “Best Choice” for entire VHA Medical to be shut down and give Medicare to ALL Vets. Done. THAT is my “Best Choice”…all the Choice Crows are behind this “Best Choice”, as they are incredibly dizzy from flying in 40 mile circles like a demented roundabout in the sky while Veterans die.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

I’ve used Choice in the past. My first request was denied, get this, on August 1, 2014. I believe this is the same date that the first mailings per Choice was mailed out to those who qualified.

Then when I was given Choice, the VA Reps didn’t even know what Physicians accepted Choice. Even though there was a list of participating Doctors. Then when I located Doctors, their qualifications weren’t acceptable to me.

I later found out, that Specialist’s didn’t want to participate with Choice due to; substandard reimbursement costs, and the length of time to receive payments from the VA. These are BIG problems that hinder excellent Physicians from joining the Choice Program to benefit the lives of us Veterans.

We Veterans are being sold out by the second, for the benefit of those that either create VA policies, those that oversee VA Programs, and the VA’s AFGE Union Employees. These people are better protected than Veterans. This is backwards. Veterans should be protected more. – – – Nutter.

namnibor
namnibor

“[…Let’s see what the VSOs say. I am sure it will be some truth mixed with a box of lies.]”
Where there’s fresh turds, there’s also a box or two of blow flies ready to lay the maggots down and consume. If the VSO’s like “New Choice”, then it’s probably not good for actual Vets in the wild…

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

One of the biggest problems I see in this “plan” is;
1. Because of the amount of civilian healthcare providers, who have dropped out of the Choice Program, due to nonpayment. It’s going to be hard finding a physician!
2.) What VHA healthcare provider will state, “FOR THE RECORD”, “…it’s in the best interest…” of my patient to go outside for their healthcare!
Let that settle in for awhile!
Can y’all see a VHA healthcare provider stating that! That provider might as well kiss his or her “bonus” GOODBYE!

Yes, the VSO’s, and that “useless union”, will be lying about it. Plus, they’ll say Shulkin is trying to “privatise the VA” again. Wait for it!

I like what a commenter said on yesterday’s blog. Shut down the VHA healthcare side and give veterans a “Medicare Part V” card. If that happened, the VA workforce would try to get jobs in the civilian marketplace.
Can y’all imagine IF these VA healthcare providers wanted to work in the civilian healthcare workforce?! IF they were hired, how many would be able to retain employment? My guess would be, very few!

Those are my thoughts this gloomy Tuesday morning! Looks like rain! Have a great day brothers and sisters!

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Question – – – Does anyone know of a database of Naval Accident Reports for Flight Accidents that occurred on board Aircraft Carriers ships at sea? The time frame is between June ’74 – January ’75. Thank you in advance. – – – Nutter.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

ANutterVet,
I’m not sure, only I believe you’d have to contact the Department of the Navy over that!
Of course, be expected to receive “blacked out pages”. Where the Navy would “claim” that information is classified!
It’s as when I did a “FOIA” on the helicopter crash (CH-46), April or May 1976, on the USS Guadal Canal, a helicopter aircraft carrier.
That incident occurred, due to loss of hydrolic pressure on the helicopter. Which caused it to crash into the side of the ship.
I was on the USS Raliegh LPD-1’s “life boat” and helped in the rescue mission! Only the co-pilot survived! We were on a “mission”, (“Operation Fluid Drive” June 20th, 1976), to the Middle East. To help in the “evacuation of Americans held hostage by Hezbollah at the Beirut, Lebanon airport! The only other ship with us was the USS Spiegel Grove!
I got LOTS more information from Google, than I did from the Navy!

Have you googled the “incident”? That might lead you to something! That might be your best bet!

namnibor
namnibor

“Massive”- defined in mineralogy as “Having no outward form, although sometimes crystalline in internal structure”. <–that's the VA and as long as the same hacks are in that crystalline structure of indifference, like Crazy Elf said, I HIGHLY DOUBT very many VA hacks are going to admit it's in a Vet's best interest to use outside healthcare and not the VA…this is a rope-a-dope dog & pony show with Choice….it's ALL ABOUT keeping that cookie jar filled with mo' $.

Dennis
Dennis

This article is SUCH a coincidence!!! What are the odds of me seeing such a headline when I myself am ALSO prepared to undergo a similar VA style change!

My plan if implemented, is to travel into my bathroom and drop my trousers. Then I am gonna stradle the white porcelain bowl of Choice and commit myself to “change”.

As I made my plans for a massive VA style change, I medicated with some Oregon grown medicine and decided to do what all patriotic vets do prior to dumping currently held “policies” – I logged onto this blog! To my astonishment I read now that VA itself is planning a similar action! What are the odds of that???

I better go log now.

namnibor
namnibor

Hope you properly logged-out without an event that’s actually called a “Poseidon’s Kiss”.
‘Poseidon’s Kiss’- When water splashes upward and directly to your ass immediately after logging-out.

Dennis
Dennis

You people put water in your toilets??? God things get strange outside of Oregon! I am gonna vape now before I go to the store for more tyd dye TP. I get the recycled hemp kind. It stinks and is really rough on the bum, but it IS environmentally safe…

This water in the toilet idea might catch on here in time but the outhouse lobby might resist.

namnibor
namnibor

Hipsters also enjoy all-glass toilets so their cats can enjoy the colorful koi fish swimming around the pristine biome in their tiny house. They then utilize their cat’s catbox, with reservations from the cat lobby, who threaten to make a clean flush of the koi if things do not change.

Oldmarine
Oldmarine

DENNIS I never put water in my toilet it just appears when I pull a lever on the side, You need to look for yours I don’t think it was a option,As for toilet paper I use corncob’s It’s a little rough but you get used to it, Try it you might like it…LOL

namnibor
namnibor

This Halloween, I think the VA Spooky Swamp(V.A.S.S.) could be depicted as a putrid acidic green punch with dry ice for spooky swamp gas and all within a repurposed American Standard Toilet and a few Baby Ruth’s floating that have VA Deckchair Holder’s faces molded into them… This could really happen.

Oldmarine
Oldmarine

Is that Standard a push button model

namnibor
namnibor

No, the Skanky Toilet Digital(STD) model with Siri App built-in. The early beta models were a bit touchy though, Siri’s microphone would get muffled by doughy ass and she would misinterpret very common words such as intended “calculate” and instead took it as “castrate” and the lawsuits keep coming-in from those that survived the VA’s experimental color-changing crystal toilets.

Windguy
Windguy

Nothin like some serious moto-cross on a porcelain Ducati

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

So basically, Shulkin wants to do away with the “30-day/40-mile” rule, take full control of the Veterans Choice dollars and put VA Providers in-charge of who receives and where they receive care.

Which is basically taking one giant leap backwards to how things use to be at the VA, with one exception the additional funds of the Veterans Choice money.

That way Shulkin’s VA can just turn their backs on Veterans who will have to wait six months just to be seen and driving 120 miles to get to the VA. Not to mention all those fuck ups in Veteran’s health care they will be able to hide because they will never approve outside care for someone who has been injured by VA Care.

Dennis
Dennis

Let me briefly dispense with scatological references and ask the core question which ALSO serves as an explanation why absolutely nothing can “fix” the Choice Program;

Exactly how many people within the entire United States know precisely what all the rules are for this and further what each of those rules actually means?

This is a core problem with VA. It takes a vocation like Ben’s chosen field to even approach a working knowledge of VA, and incredibly we now have in our culture entire sub-specialities in law according to VA problem category. One agency and now we have specialists in law to decipher TDIU, VBA benefits, health benefits, VA payments owed, and even legal specialists who can be hired to repair credit destroyed by VA non-payment! Shit, we even have whole departments just to serve whistleblowers at VA who expose the insanity of it all!!!

If it takes highly specialized legal expertise just to navigate the informational kiosk at VA, then how on Earth can we expect the talented long term AFGE empoyees to understand even one tenth of what we expect them to master?

No fucking way are the cell phone surfing overly plump nurses I have seen in VA facilitis are gonna EVER give a shit what the regulations are anyway so long as they don’t miss the toenail polish sale at Kmart that day. The cream of the crop of VA employees do not have the capacity to wade through the ever changing myriad array of laws that apply to them. “Cream of the crop” is actually an ancient term that describes fungal growth on vegatables. Fitting.

So in short the vegatables at VA don’t understand most laws, so as all vegatables would do they ignore them all. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

“Wax on, Wax of!” 😅😂😄😃😁😀😀😁😂😃😄😅😀😁😂😃😅😅😄

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Damn Neuropathy this a.m..
“Wax on, Wax off!” 😀😁😂😃😄😅😀😁😂😃😄😅😆😀😁😂😃😄😅

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Question – – – Is anyone currently being prescribed Soma (Carisoprodol) by a VA Primary Care Provider (PCP) or a VA Pain Management Specialist? What VA Medical Center (VAMC) or Clinic do you receive treatment? Are you being prescribed Soma to treat muscle spasms, or used for breakthrough pain, or for anxiety (anxiolytic), or for migraines, or musculoskeletal migraine-like tension headaches, or to treat other symptoms not listed, or to treat a combination of ailments, or being prescribed for another ailment designated as being an “OFF SCRIPT” treatment?

Soma (Carisoprodol) is a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance, while Oxycodone is a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance. My argument is why in the fuck would any Doctor prescribe more Oxycodone rather than prescribing Soma? And, knowing that (documented by VA), that Soma has been reported by the patient as being effective in relieving multiple symptoms; severe muscle spasms, slightly easy anxiety, and relieving migraine-like tension headaches.

Other non-VA Physicians (friends of mine out of State), has informed me that this is a very dangerous and life threatening practice of prescribing more Oxycodone, than to prescribe Soma to treat one’s symptoms of muscle spasms, pain, anxiety, and migraines. Thank you for you help. – – – Nutter.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

I may post the same question in the future. Not trolling, but to catch the eye of Veterans that don’t visit Ben’s Blog on a daily basis. Thanks. – – – Nutter.

Windguy
Windguy

I’ve been getting SOMA/CARI for spasm due to musculoskeletal (AS). They’re first response was that it is non-forumlary. I had my civilian med records in hand and was able to show the prior scrips and explained that other relaxants (Flexeril – other) resulted in major squirrely dreams – of which I didn’t need extra. The doc asked for it and got it. SOMA doesn’t stop the severe spasm. But, it lessens the severity and allows me to “breath” in and out of a major spasm – thus controlling or limiting severity. I don’t take it too often. Usually a gang up with a half tab of soma, and a full Tramadol and one or two tylenol. Yes – I’m a light-weight. Any higher dosages and I’d paradoxically react and make enemies.

namnibor
namnibor

Related to VA Deathcare: “Trump’s drug czar nominee out after “60 Minutes” opioid report”
“http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trumps-drug-czar-nominee-out-after-60-minutes-opioid-report/ar-AAtDMDO?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=ientp”

Oldmarine
Oldmarine

That’s Show BIZ

Ted
Ted

sames like a stall then tricare will take the hit .

Ted
Ted

yea we will get time in a half for waiting but limited medical staff = mal practice. wont be enough doctors to take care of business there is no choice in that especially for a veteran that has to wait and then when his time comes to take care of his or her medical problems ,well….no medical profession is going to take a pay hit for this trump sign off of a fuck up deal for medical personnel. yea government will be not paying and we will have to pay a greater source out of pocket if we want the correct medical staff to take us to surgery or the medicine.

Ted
Ted

trump insurance signing is a bad deal. he just told insurance to limit there market . no doctor nurse or medical staff will stand for it. going to wind up with limited medical staff because insurers cant pay the staff for medical care in the end.

Ted
Ted

good luck for any nurse or doctor staying taking a pay hit for trumps insurance plan.yea vets u will get inside the hospital for your care but the only person there is going to be the janitor with a syringe asking u to remove your pants to shoot the cob webs out your injury

Ted
Ted

syringe full of Windex that is

Ted
Ted

there is no such thing as a veteran coming home to republicans.they want us dead for a reason so they can mark us off as a political job well done.

democrats want to keep us home by blaming us for taking away American institution money from us coming home all fucked up.Obama supporting new American citizens like illegal immigrants and international medical degrees that cant speak a lick of English to fatten up that policy money to keep there lenders in check.

every time a veteran gets 100% Total disability it takes money away from the government establishment to fund specific bureaucrats that help the socialism capitalizing on corrupted democratic venues. o no? why does it take an illegal immigrant with a fake social security card 6months for SSI while it takes a year for a veteran to get his benefits?

but the government tell us we are ok and that we dont need a percentage of our disability compensation through denial .. its time to arm are selves and choose are targets. yea we will get medical care but from the janitor.

R. Rytter
R. Rytter

If the only place you can get care is at the VA then that care is very good, if like me I have Medicare and tricare for life, VA healthcare is poor at best.

Lorr Bishop
Lorr Bishop

My husband is retired Navy and has the same medical as you. Right now we are 40 miles from a VA facility, so mostly he uses civilian doctors. We have decided to move to Portland, OR where there is a VA hospital. Will he now have to use VA doctors, even though Medicare is his primary insurance?
His PTSD got bad, so he checked himself into Portland VA . They had no Diabetic meal choices, even after meeting with the nutritional nurse. Barley ate the whole time there. Learned our lesson about using the VA.

91Veteran
91Veteran

As much as possible, your husband should continue seeing outside doctors if he can use Medicare. If he goes to the VA they will still bill his Medicare for any non-service connected care, so why not go to a provider on the outside where he has less chance of malpractice? Or at least can hold his civilian doctor accountable if there is malpractice?

Danny Monteneze
Danny Monteneze

I was talking with my outside provider and she said that she is considering no longer handling VA consultations sent to her. Why I asked, she said that the VA is nearly a year behind in paying her and she is a small town doctor. They owe her over a 100,000 dollars and she gets nowhere when she calls to ask for payment. I can see the storm brewing! I decided several years back to seek all my medication needs outside the VA when I sat down with my new doctor (they change every year or two) and he says “I sorry, I not have much English”. A very nice gentleman but I had several serious health issues and what was I to do!? To show that you are unbiased, I would include VA success stories along with information like this… that is more than what we get from the government with their white washing everything! Cheers

91Veteran
91Veteran

Danny, if that provider is helping you, you should help her. Talk to her about Choice authorization numbers which she may have, then let her know about the VA employees specifically employed to help vets with Choice not paying the bills.

I have had two Choice appointments. Both involved radiology and imaging. The provider was paid, but radiology was not. The first notice I got that radiology bills were not being paid was when I got a notice from the radiology billing company saying they were going to turn it over to collections. 2 bills. One from 2016 and the second from this year.

I called the radiology billing company and told them I would be contacting the VA billing person about the bill. I also told them I would contact the VA Hotline on Choice billing problems. I then told them I would contact Trumps hotline for veterans.

I called all 3. The VA employee I called who handles Choice billing problems contacted the radiology billing company, and escalated the problem with Choice. The VA Choice billing hotline gave me a reference number. The operator on Trump’s hotline didn’t seem to give a shit. Within a week, I got a call from the VA Revenue Manager asking all kinds of questions about it, and said she was calling because I called Trump’s hotline. I explained who I called and why, and said I was not going to have my credit ruined because the Choice program is run by deadbeats.

I was told by the local VA employee handling Choice billing problems that she contacted the radiology billing company, gave them the authorization numbers, then told them where to submit the bills.

I have not heard anything since.

namnibor
namnibor

What a fucking nightmare!

91Veteran
91Veteran

Yeah, it is. It gives me a serious case of the red-ass to see billions dumped into the Choice program, and then Choice not pay their bills.

But hey, George Miller is making big money on the board of Healthnet, and Dick Gephardt and Tommy Thompson are making big money on the board of Centene which now owns Healthnet.

As well as any Congress critter or their aides who invest in mutual funds that are invested in those companies. Or even bigger money with stock options as Dennis described.

Lem
Lem

Best way to get rid of the physicians causing the problems in the VA. Make them compete for their jobs with the private sector.

yesIcomplainloudly
yesIcomplainloudly

For the last 3 years, the choice program is well known now to every private provider out there as a total piece of SHIT, and all the decent providers (drs., dr. groups, medical centers) refuse to accept the Choice program, after experiencing the program from the first ones (veterans) that came to them on Choice. I have had all my private providers tell me they don’t accept the program anymore because their staff has to spend 2-3 hours every time they call Healthnet waitng on the phone line to speak to someone. They all told me that they take their patients seriously and move urgently with the patients at center focus – that’s their policy. That it is a waste of resources (their time) to spend an ungodly amout of time on hold on the telephone… only to then talk to an “incompetent jerk” at Healthnet. They say that Healthnet does NOT have any urgency at all and is completely out-of-sinc with the way they (the providers) do business. The only non-VA providers taking choice are solo practitioners or foreign-staffed doctors who will accept any program in the hopes of being paid, for they need the money more. They also require you to sign paperwork stating that you (the veteran) are ultimately responsible for payment should they not get money from your insurance (the choice program) (or not get it within a timely period of time).

So….the VA can talk about all the internal criteria about you getting on the Choice program ( the 30 day shit and the 40 mile shit), but that doesn’t mean anything to the providers in getting them to accept choice (re-accept). Choice did not work out as an “insurance” they wish to accept, and they certainly are not going to start accepting it now. Especially with the dick-heads at Healthnet running it. The program left a bad taste in their mouth, and it will continue to be a time consuming waste of their resources. This they know.

So….Shulkin didn’t do anything to change the acceptance of the Choice Program among the vast majority of providers (who will, by-the-way, accept VA fee-base ’cause it works smoother) and now it is time for Shulkin to move on to Health and Human Services Secretary, as he is a FAILURE at the Veterans Administration as it’s Secretary. That’s how it’s done here in the U.S. , folks.

Soo… What do we do about all this never ending Harvey W. style circle jerk?

91Veteran
91Veteran

In some respects, the VA was already doing this. I live less than 40 miles from my VA. I also was not waiting to see someone longer than 30 days. Both times I was referred to Choice, it was because the local VA does not have the specialists on staff that I needed to see.

I fully believe the VA saw the referral as cheaper than them paying the travel for me to go to a larger VA to be seen by specialists. The nearest larger VA’s would be Denver or Salt Lake City. Either over 250 miles away, and either would have required paying for lodging.

Both times I waited longer than 30 days to get the Choice appointment because you just can’t send anyone to a private doctor who already has a full list of patients.

Will the VSO’s continue sabotaging this? Absolutely. They lose way too much power by veterans having a Choice. Will the VA continue sabotaging this? Absolutely. Particularly the AFGE. Will they succeed? Well, that depends on Congress. So far, they haven’t shown much interest in veterans waiting for care, or in Choice paying their bills.

Congress only cares about that gravy train continuing feeding money back to them. With Choice, they are cutting out the laundering aspect of funneling it through the VA first.

Will these new guidelines be better? Well, the new guidelines do say the VA will still decide if it’s in the best interests of the veteran. If the VA gave a damn about the best interests of the veteran, the Choice program would not exist.

lily
lily

It’s pretty bad at the VA. I just talked to my Doc and just asked for some dangerous prescription to see what he’d do. He’s says “Sure but it’ll be a lower dose because this stuff can be deadly”. I’m not going to use it or ever ask again but I’m thinking it was a bad move on the Docs part to just hand that stuff out. Then they ask me if I want to see mental health today and I said no. I’m not sure why they think these mental health people are angels. I don’t trust any of them.

lily
lily

Holy shit…this is the first time I saw a VA doctor and that experience was scary. I left feeling worse than I’ve felt in a long time. The doctor and nurse seemed nice but something about the experience left me feeling eerie. All I know is I’m not going back anytime soon. Maybe in a few years for a physical. Other than that…screw that shit. They can keep their money if they got to reduce my benefits.

lily
lily

All I can say is stick with the Vet Center or private therapy.

MouseMan_usmc
MouseMan_usmc

Because both VA and non-VA care come out of the same budget Medicare. It then would make since a Veteran could receive care from any clinic or Doctor who accepts Medicare. When doing a billing for a Veteran they would simple check a box that indicates the patient is a Veteran. The Veteran would still be required to be recommended by Primary Care for the treatment. The Veteran could make a choice for local treatment.

Wade
Wade

BRAVO! IF, this actually happens, the VA will be downsized in a HUGE way. Anyone that would rather go to the VA than a commercial hospital needs their head examined. I will drop my private health insurance and actually get the care they promised to me.

wpDiscuz