New Veterans Choice Program Rules

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Veterans Choice Program

Benjamin KrauseVeterans Affairs just changed the Veterans Choice Program rules open the door for previously disqualified veterans inside the 40-mile radius.

Veterans who live within 40 miles of a VA facility where the distance causes an “unusual or excessive burden” will now also be allowed to seek non-VA health care. Previously, VA loosened the “crow flies” rule that illogically restricted access based on a 40-mile straight-line measure.

RELATED: Crow Flies Rule Dies

There are two criteria a veteran can qualify for non-VA care:

  • More than 30 days to an appointment
  • Live 40 miles away from the nearest VA or have an unreasonable burden to drive to the nearest facility if you live within 40 miles

VA has apparently expanded the second criteria. Hopeful this will increase access to the program for veterans who hate VA health care services given how unreasonably and deceptively VA restricted access to non-VA health care since Veterans Choice became a thing.

The Iron Mountain, Michigan, VA facility director recently highlighted the changes:

“The VA has recently expanded the second criterion. Veterans who reside less than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility may be approved by the VA medical center to use the Veterans Choice Program if they face an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to a VA medical facility.”

He further explained the history of the program:

“The law originally required that the Veteran must have been enrolled in VA health care by Aug. 1, 2014, or was a returning combat veteran enrolled after Aug. 1, 2014. Just this past Friday, Congress passed and the President signed the change eliminating this requirement.”

Source: http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=1238845

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38 Comments

  1. So, a Veteran is still subject to bewildering runaround of the contracted idiot companies that the VA has contracted to determine just what a “burden might be to any given Veteran”, right?!

    I hope I am wrong but I can just see the story now on here where people needing chemotherapy or specialized test/treatments, and the VA will go onward, trying to send a Veteran to a VA Satellite Office that only does blood-work…hate to be wrong, but the VA has proven that THEY want that $$$$ for their own purposes, so really will believe these changes are indeed for the benefit of Veterans when I hear/read about it.

    Please prove me wrong, but…I predict the next scandal will be the VA will claim the Choice Program is completely out of cash because they took too much from the cookie jar too often…wait for it.

    • you are 101% correct. Congress will sever the purse strings long before anyone finds out if it actually worked.

    • @ namnibor

      You are absolutely correct. The issue is not one of allowing veterans a “choice” of treatment if they live over 40 miles away, or receive appointments over 30 days hence.

      The issue is one of “specialty” versus regular COBC clinics, which the VA did not address to Congress, and Congressional members failed to ask. The money is being used to hire medical interns and staff, who then leave the room to consult with the presiding physician, along with their increases in pay. Physician assistants are now the norm…I don’t want a PA advising me–I want a bona-fide doctor. Medical equipment age stays the same.

      Veterans don’t need new “appointments” to hire new doctors ad nauseum. We need service locally if at all possible.

      When I contested the program, I was told–in writing and on a phone call–that the Choice program was only for “recently discharged veterans.” Vietnam Vets, WWII, and those in 80’s and 90’s can just about forget it.

  2. The more I have thought about this I came to the early conclusion that these “new improved” Choice Program rules, and rules that the VA will make nebulas interpretations of, are but nothing than really your most favorite grandmother’s cake frosting on a big turd…yep, candy coated public service announcement to make themselves not look so BAD as THIEVES from the very Choice Program they have just “improved”. Candy-coated turds. Now, if these do end-up being great improvements to access, then hurray, am all for it. Be careful, that’s not really a caramel in the center…sorry, in a crap mode this evening.

  3. Y’all are so correct. Lets see;
    1.) More than 30 days for an appointment.
    2.) More than 40 miles or a hardship on the vet. (Under 40 miles)

    Wait a minute, I think namnibor is correct, VA forgot to add another important rule. A number 3.) A vet would be eligible if the VA clinic, or satellite, did not provide the “specialty healthcare” the veterans need!

    We got some real winners making up the rules. I wonder how long it’ll be before VA takes more money from OUR [no]Choice Program?

    • I am thinking that once the purse strings came open and even authorized by Congress, there will be very little left of Choice Program to benefit Veterans…after all, the Cookie Monster can never stop until the jar is empty, right?

      • Hey brother, I got permission to use it. Only problem, can’t get anyone to approve an outside health care facility…..
        Therefore, I got nowhere with it.
        Btw, I read something the other day. Where only 150,000+/- got to actually use that Choice Program (where the vet was seen by an outside physician) vs. what Ol McD said to the committee. My wife found the article somewhere. Guess where it came from- “a VA spokesperson”-! How’s that for transparency and accountability!?

      • @CrazyELF-

        I want to believe that the VA actually used THAT 150,000+/- figure to DOWNPLAY that ***Veterans were NOT using Choice Program (this was not even a month and half after most cards sent to Vets and some had not even got it in mail yet), to justify back in Feb/March ’15 before Congress to try to DIVERT that Choice Cash for something entirely else….re-touch and peruse just Ben’s articles from beginning of this year to present and you will see where people’s short-term-attention-spans in USA are being exploited because the VA has made all KINDS of maneuvers to GET THAT CA$H from Choice Program…the Hep C wonder drug from Rumsfeld and Friends was pulled-out like a magician with a rabbit and hat…except this is “VA Land”, not too far off from Disney’s “Wonderland”….except that Alice no longer lives here but the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat are running the asylum.

        So see, with no actual accountability, who really knows what ANY figures are because I have YET to read anything that would be made public about actual accounting figures that justified/supported the VA’s deficit figures, let alone actual cost breakdowns of the Hep Cn drug…so am I correct in interpreting this correctly in that Congress ASSUMES the VA has INTEGRITY and does not question nor establish some sort of accountability????

        Why exactly did the Choice Ca$h need to be robbed when they could have done the sensible thing and delay the construction until investigation and appropriation for budget year 2016?

        Lastly, what’s not to say that since the VA has now learned they CAN threat and hold our medical care access hostage and used as pawns, what’s not to say they next time tell Congress that they will not be able to pay XX# of months of Veteran Disability Comp. Payments because they are “surprisingly out of money”, and hold Disabled Vets compensation hostage to get what they want? I do not mean to raise any anxieties with anyone, I know too well about those in my daily life, but it’s something to be genuinely worried about and reason I really believe the VA should have an entirely non-VA-related and reputable accounting firm to manage their damn finances…time for some golden parachutes to be untethered and once accountability can be had with the VA, then perhaps integrity will be a natural evolution to betterment of the VA.

      • namnibor.
        That’s also one of the complaints I have of the American public, very short attention span.
        This is why we, and all others, need to keep the information flowing day in and day out. Use this media constantly. Continue to tweet and email friends. Those friends will do the same, etc.,etc.,etc.
        I gave my wife’s tweeter name today. How many friends do you have? And how many friends do they have, and so forth and so forth.
        If you’ll remember, just last year a countries dictator fell because of this technology.
        I also agree, an outside auditor company should come in and clean house. How can this be accomplished if millions of people don’t stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We’re not taking it any longer. Basically telling the elected officials– YOUR FIRED! Get out now….

      • P.S.
        namnibor, on the issue of holding veterans disability compensation hostage….like they just did our healthcare….
        Trust me, if Ol McD was really stupid enough to try something like that, well just think on these lines “the Bonus Army of 1932” would be childs play!!!! Get my meaning brother?!

      • The ONLY reason the law was created was to engender more $$$ from Congress so they could hire more surgeons and especially staff, plus extended pensions–because THAT has been the only success story. The veterans were put out to pasture…the program only helps recent veterans under Obama’s period of rule. Older veterans, watch out.

  4. Here’s another B/S article.

    “VA May Accept Applications for New Identification Cards in September”
    Aug. 1, 2015
    by, Bryant Jordan

    Wait on damn minute. I know of many veterans who have already received them. I’m still waiting. I’ve applied twice.
    There’s another statement by VA in this article. That is the VA is going to charge $$$ for it. Yet, they haven’t figured out how much. It should come out in middle to late September.
    What a crock of dung….

    • I can’t even get a regular VA ID card…I still have the old white and purple card. For the last 2 years, every time I ask for one, I’m told the machine is broke.

      • I got one and diodn’t even ask for it…I wonder how they got my photo–was from an old one 20 years ago. hahahhahaha

  5. If any on here are on “Twitter” and are interested in more b/s from VA. You can follow my wife. Her name on it is
    ‘Katterkat’
    This will allow you to go to her profile page. Then follow her. She finds and posts many articles. She even has a senator following her.

      • Ok, she’s now following you too. The more people who get on this, and other sites, the better. Because, imo, the more who send tweets and emails to our elected officials over the way government is being run —-

        #1.) They will understand our dissatisfaction of their unsatisfactory attempts at playing politics with our lives.

        And, #2.) The public’s (or taxpayers) dissatisfaction with their unsatisfactory ways they use taxpayers monies!

        On a grade from A+ to F-, I believe the majority of America would probably give all in Washington a D- to F+. Congress right now has an 8% approval rating. That is — I ain’t got no negative connotations too relay my disgust to them over this.

  6. What is an unusal burden? Is it driving 140 miles because that is really the closest place you can get care? Is it having to take public transit that may take 5 hours round trip? Is it that you are in so much pain that traveling more than 15 minutes is prohibitive? Or, is it some definition which is determined by some mystical machinations that only those blessed by the VA gods are privy to and we, lesser mortals, would never understand?

    I’ll bet my money on the last question I posed. Well, got to get going – I have an appointment with my private vascular surgeon.

    • Yeah Dan — well put. They won’t tell you anything solid except the following statement: “Some examples of what would be approved as an exception include: geographical challenges, medical conditions that impact the patient’s ability to travel, or hazardous weather conditions The biggest thing the VA stresses in regards to the Veterans Choice program, is calling the 1-866 number on the card before seeking care. Otherwise they say there’s a chance you’ll have to pay out of pocket.”
      This is flimsy and leaves it up to who knows who to make a decision on “exceptions” which is decided on a case by case basis, I guess. Flimsy! Designed to be decided by the incompetent personnel of the VA.. The program blows. Notice they want you to call their 866 number so they (Healthnet contractors) have complete CONTROL of your situation and hope to trip you up somewhere so they can then disqualify your ass entirely. CONTROL of you and NO transparency is the name of their game. How is the general public going to delve into all this injustice so they can get a better picture of what their tax dollars aren’t providing? The VA and Congress and all the watchdogs like OIG etc.are letting this happen to keep the veterans and the rest of the U.S. population completely dumbed down by unexplainable, hard-to- understand dictatorship, as they do with everything going on with this country of (ours?)
      I too am supposed to see a vascular surgeon, and have to use this 866 # continuously through my entire process, like I am some incompetent a-hole.

      • This is why everyone needs to put whatever they find on the web concerning, not only how veterans are not being treated well at VA’s in their area. But also how VA and government agencies are wasting their tax dollars.
        How? By e-mailing your representatives and tweeting your displeasure on all aspects.
        You will be amazed at what can be done. If millions of “registered voters” contact their reps nationwide to express their dissatisfaction over what’s being done….
        Tell them Their time is at end representing anyone come next election….

  7. I have a question.

    I live about 5 miles from a OUTPATIENT little place, but the two closest actual VAMC are well over 40 miles (which has been killed today i guess). will the outpatient still preclude me?

    • I don’t think anyone can truly answer that. Do what you can to see if you are eligible then continue to push ahead. Some have had success, while many have not. And others just gave up trying.
      I believe this is a fair way to answer your question..
      Good luck

      • I can “truly” answer that, because I tried the process–each step. I reside in CT.

        I requested from VA about my eligibility for the program. I live exactly 57 miles from the VA Hospital where I get most of my “specialty” coverage. I also kept getting later and later appointments.

        The VA administrator in charge of the program said I was not eligible because I lved within 10 miles of the nearest VA facility – a COBC, or outpatient lab of sorts. He also stated (unbelievably!!) that it was only meant for “recently discharged veterans.”

        I sent a letter contesting this advice, and received the same reply, but talk to my “patient advocate.

        Two problems with this advice:

        I receive “specialty” care NOT offered at the “local” COBC, but which is only offered at the hospital 57 miles away via normal roads (not stupidly “as the crow flies”). That means I have to travel an average of 3 hours to/from, given city traffic and parking.

        Problem 2 is the specialty aspect. When I had to change my appointment because I had a heart issue and was sick, I was told the next appointment–for the cardiologist–was 4 months hence. When I prompted further, I was told “specialty clinics” only meet “…on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 4:30.” I said is that a joke? How many veterans do you see then (I jokingly did the math at each for 15 mins. at 4 per hour, multiplied by 4 hours equals 16 veterans a week, or 64 a month). She didn’t laugh.

        So I had to wait four months and travel a total of over 100 miles, on $15K pension a year, in a vehicle that costs me $23/trip to the VA in gas alone.

        By the way, I live between two local hospitals 20 minutes apart.

        So I decided to call the 800 number–and I received the same dialogue:

        “You are not eligible, since you are not a recently retired veteran, and you live close to a local COBC–this is true for all of CT since there are two VA hospitals in the center of the state.” I suggested this was wrong and didn’t follow the law for ALL veterans, and particularly since the local COBC does NOT have specialty clinics. She merely replied that THAT was the law and she couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything about it.

        I was rated 20% years ago for COPD, asthma, shortness of breath due to significant military accident affecting my breathing–yet I recently went to the VA whose transportation dept denied travel costs for my pulmonary check up which was treating it.

        I fear I am being retaliated against for bringing up the issues of “specialty clinics” which the VA did NOT advise Congress on, and how the VA gets around the law….one day a week for “specialty clinics?” really? I mean REALLY???? what do the doctors and nurses do the rest of the week??

        In essence, the law is a flat out stupid joke foisted on the American people to make Americans think both Congress and the VA are serving veterans well…if Congress only knew what they hath wrought.

      • @Gene-

        Definitely write an email to Benjamin Krause on here and your contact info. I am pretty sure he would want to hear how the VA is NOW re-interpreting the Choice Program “Law”…because like I have been saying, the way the VA has wanted to divert that Choice Ca$h incessantly, they manufacture even more steep impasses to even use the program, which begs one to ask if the VA is doing this because THE $$$ IS GONE. I have nothing to qualify that assessment, but my intuition is telling me something is not *quite right* when the VA now pulls this rule that I do not think ANYONE on here has ever heard until now, that’s it’s according to the VA *only* for recently discharged Veterans or Retirees?!
        This is a new one and it’s damn passive-aggressive of the VA to make even more obstacles when they just stole $3.4 Billion (that we know about thus far) from the program.
        I would also look into a website someone on here recommended called Thevaislying dot com or org, not familiar, but it has been stated they can find a willing attorney to take on the VA because it seems it’s rare as hen’s teeth that attorneys even are willing to go up against that wall called goliath.
        Hang-in there, do not give-up. Your story is what investigative reporting does well with and with the blow hards starting their presidential pre-debates, these kind of things need to be brought out and keep Veteran’s Issues front and center in news. Have as much evidence, print-outs, copies, etc. when you contact a media outlet or even Ben Krause, because the VA is not beyond sending requests for info into a rat race or just plain lose them or never contact back.
        The website that helped me actually educate myself on what I faced when filing and dealing with disabilities with both VA and Soc Sec Adm., is an awesome website, and hope it helps you in some way. It’s hadit dot com (spelled-out as this format freaks a bit on actual web links)…you will find more advocacy there than any VSO or VARO.
        Peace.

  8. I,AM A LITTLE OVER 40 MILE,S,, I WAS SENT 61.POINT SOMETHING MILE,S TO SEE AN EYE DOCTOR,, THEY HAVE THEM HERE CLOSE, I WAS TOLD HE WAS THE ONLY EYE DOC THAT WOULD TAKE HEALTH NET VET,S,, THIS WAS 61.SOME THING MILE,S ONE WAY..I HAVE NOT HEARD FROM THE V.A. ABOUT IT,, THE APPOINTMENT WAS LAST MONTH THAT DOC SAID HE WAS GOING TO PUT A CONSULT IN WITH MY V.A.,, HE ALSO SAID I HAD 20/20 VISION WHICH I KNOW IS INPOSSABLE,,,,THEY HAVE CUT ON MY EYE,S 4 TIME,S,,,, 20/20 WITH MY WALT MART 3 YEAR OLD SPEC,S,,I JUST LOOKED AT THE DOC AND SAID YEAH RIGHT,, DIABETES FROM AGENT ORANGE IS TAKEN MY SIGHT THE LAST PAIR I GOT FROM THE V.A WAS MADE IN THE MID WEST AND WERE VERY GOOD THE LAST 2 PAIR WAS MADE IN FLA,,,,I CAN,T SEE NOTHING USING THEM,, SO I BOUGHT THESE WALT MART PAIR..

    • Do you go to the Lake Baldwin (Orlando) Florida VA? I have the same problems with those alleged optometrists there. Last time I went the idiot didn’t do the exam right. Even though I tried to explain, so I ended up going outside to get glasses.
      I was informed by two outside doctors that my left eye, due to AO and being burned in Nam, would have to have something done. Because the prescription was at the highest level.
      Of course the VA optometrist said many times now, “I don’t care what happened to your eyes back then, I’m only treating you for what you have now!”
      Ain’t that a crock!!!!

      • That is the point Crazy self,they don’t care they get their money either way,we are just a paycheck to them and like cattle just run us in and run us out.Years ago I waited 45 minutes past my appointment time for a Doctor to see me at the John Cochran VA Hospital in ST. Louis,MO. She came in with a Diamond in the middle of her Forehead and said,”I have only 10 minutes for you why are you here”I had 3 problems to discuss with her that were important health issues,but only discussed one and she left,the nurse said go to the pharmacy,I complained to the administrator but nothing was done,thank GOD I got a new job with real insurance or I might be dead.Semper Fi

    • I live 100 miles one way from the nearest VA which is Sioux Falls, SD. This trip totally wipes me out by the time I get home. The Choice Program is an absolute Joke and I do not qualify for it. Not to mention, since I have an ongoing investigation going on about the corruption, cover-ups and medical notes from civilian doctors I have never seen …..the VA sends these false reports (which is a Federal Crime) to any civilian doctor you see. Trying to get my medical notes from these Civilian doctors is impossible even though I send a copy of the South Dakota Statute regarding being able to receive my medical notes. Congresswoman Noem’s office in Sioux Falls, SD has exacerbated the false medical reporting and never listened nor investigated due to the fact that Noem’s liaison is friends with Admin at the Sioux Falls VA Healthcare System.

      Until I can get my medical file corrected any doctor I see will be receiving scathing and untrue medical notes. I have a tailbone that is hanging on one side only and the VA sent a fax to the civilian doctor’s office telling them to destroy my x-rays (too late I have a copy) and to deny I have a fx tailbone. This has been going on since January.

      Not one med mal attorney in Sioux Falls, SD will take my case stating. “We will not accept any cases involving the VA or any doctors that practice there”. HA, what a joke. So is the Choice Program.

      • If you have documentation showing what you stated, particularly the VA faxing a civilian doctor asking them to destroy medical records, go to the media. There may not be much where you live, but I’m sure Sioux Falls would have some reporters that would be interested.

      • You need to find an attorney on Facebook Group VA IS LYING. I joined in June, 2014. After researching my records with lies included I realised hell and got kicked to the CBOC in Wagner.
        I talked with Thunes office. One letter from them got me calls from 1/2 dozen offices at the SF VA. The last two I spoke with, my old PCP’s nurse said she would testify on my behalf since I’d been going to the SF VA since 1991, shee started in 2001 and had been my PCP’s nurse for 15 years. She said, when the doctor ccalledyou a liar, I thought he was going to have a heart attack! He was cussing and jumping around yelling crap! She said you just sat there, tanned from coming back from California for the Winter. All you said was that Loma Linda VA performed hand surgery that the doctor misdiagnosed my problem six months earlier. He couldn’t find it in your records, but the narrative was written by your PCP in Palm Desert CBOC.
        Then I received a call from lady in charge of PCP’s placement of veteran’s. She admitted misunderstanding and miscommunication took place in 2007! Nobody informed me about seeing a VA Neurologist in Omaha for my ddd. Then since I didn’t follow his instructions to get a new MRI he assumed my condition had improved! That’s when everyone carried out the true injustice, LYING about my back improving, two c&p’s going from 90% to 30%!!!
        Then I was told don’t rock the boat or you’ll loose everything!!!
        I faught back until I found the group of people who had nothing in common except the VA IS LYING!!!
        Six months later I’m now 100% IU and P&T, Permanent and TOTAL!!!

      • You need to find an attorney on Facebook Group VA IS LYING. I joined in June, 2014. After researching my records with lies included I realised hell and got kicked to the CBOC in Wagner.
        I talked with Thunes office. One letter from them got me calls from 1/2 dozen offices at the SF VA. The last two I spoke with, my old PCP’s nurse said she would testify on my behalf since I’d been going to the SF VA since 1991, shee started in 2001 and had been my PCP’s nurse for 15 years. She said, when the doctor ccalledyou a liar, I thought he was going to have a heart attack! He was cussing and jumping around yelling crap! She said you just sat there, tanned from coming back from California for the Winter. All you said was that Loma Linda VA performed hand surgery that the doctor misdiagnosed my problem six months earlier. He couldn’t find it in your records, but the narrative was written by your PCP in Palm Desert CBOC.
        Then I received a call from lady in charge of PCP’s placement of veteran’s. She admitted misunderstanding and miscommunication took place in 2007! Nobody informed me about seeing a VA Neurologist in Omaha for my ddd. Then since I didn’t follow his instructions to get a new MRI he assumed my condition had improved! That’s when everyone carried out the true injustice, LYING about my back improving, two c&p’s going from 90% to 30%!!!
        Then I was told don’t rock the boat or you’ll loose everything!!!
        I faught back until I found the group of people who had nothing in common except the VA IS LYING!!!
        Six months later I’m now 100% IU and P&T, Permanent and TOTAL!!!
        Find any US Attorney. They are listed on the Facebook page. Get a free bumper sticker: VA IS LYING!!!
        Mine has started conversations from Active Duty people to Vietnam Vet’s!!

  9. Yes, Jon Stewart definitely nailed it. He nails it on just about anything he talks about.
    Only it’s sad that such a talented individual was kicked off the air for being truthful.

  10. Just a little aside from the topic…but thought I would paste this here for all to read:

    Procter & Gamble Picks a New CEO
    July 31, 2015
    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) has selected its next leader, David Taylor. The 56-year old Taylor is a longtime veteran of the company. He joined in 1980 and has since held a raft of positions, both in the U.S. and abroad. At the moment, he is head of the company’s beauty, grooming, and healthcare businesses. Taylor was widely expected to be named to the CEO post.
    The man currently in that position, A.G. Lafley, will remain at the company to serve as its chairman, according to the WSJ. Lafley is serving his second stint as CEO after coming out of retirement in 2013 to accept the job after Robert McDonald was pressured to leave by the shareholders. He previously ran Procter & Gamble from 2000 to 2009 before appointing Robert McDonald as CEO.
    Although it is a very profitable company, and its stock is heralded as a blue chip, Procter & Gamble has struggled in recent years to grow its top and bottom lines. Efforts at reducing its brand portfolio have not yet resulted in meaningful advancements in those line items.
    Change at the top is typically good in such circumstances, as a company can benefit from new blood in the executive suite. Procter & Gamble’s recent difficulties, however, are not due to leadership. Rather, they are the result of a proliferation of stale, laggard brands. Going forward, a bigger factor for the company than a new CEO will be what is left after its divestment process is completed. It needs to start posting better growth numbers in order to revive investor interest in its fortunes.

    • Many people, including myself, knew Ol McD was forced out of that job long ago. Because of that, imo, he has NO ability or expertise to run anything. He should be fired by the President and not receive any entitlements.
      That’s all I have to say on this issue!

  11. I was told to call Choice Program today for injections and physical therapy to include deep muscle massages!
    Fee Basis Office in the Sioux Falls VA Regional Office said only my PCP needs to be approved then call Choice and find a medical facility.
    The problem I have, I’m moving, haven’t closed on a house and live two hours away from my home address. Do I wait and give a new address that will put me even father from my VA or stayy the two months until therapy is over!
    Moving will change my PCP who has been wonderful getting me fee basis for therapy, x-rays and MRI’s!

  12. There are two programs administered by contractors TriWest and Health Net for the Veterans Administration. The programs are the Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) initiative and the Veterans Choice Program.

    To be eligible for the Veterans Choice Program, a veteran must live 40 miles from the nearest VA clinic or be required to wait 30 days for an appointment. So for Veteran Paul Walker ,who lives near a VA Clinic, and other Veterans like him they are not eligible for the Veterans choice program even thought the VA clinic near them does not offer the care that is needed.

    That is where the Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) initiative should have been applied in Paul Walkers care and for other Veterans like him. When the VA clinic that is near you doesn’t offer the care that is required the distance and 30 day rules apply to the distance from the facility offering the care and not the distance to your local clinic. So that they could receive care locally under the Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) initiative.

    Secretary McDonald boosted an increase of 4.3 million appoints this year over last in the Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) initiative when he asked congress for money from the Veterans Choice Program. Although McDonald’s boosted of a 4.3 million increase of appointment the Head of the Health Net program administering the PC3 program could only cite about 150,000 appointments set by Health Net under the program in testimony before the Senate.

    As for the other contractor TriWest. TriWest is opening an additional facility and hiring 500 workers to handle the Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) initiative. Also expanding the care a Veteran can receive under the program to include Primary Care.

    So for now the issue of who is eligible for the Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) initiative it is a matter of who administers the program in your area.

    If you live in an area where the programs are administered TriWest and meet the criteria you will most likely be eligible, but if you live in an area where the programs are administered by Health Net and meet the criteria most likely you will not be eligible.

    TriWest is a non-profit organization that was founded by a former aid to Senator John McCain and is owned by non-profits such as Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA).

    Health Net is a for-profit organization that is currently using the VA Contracts to sell it’s self to Centene another for-profit.

  13. I get decent care in Reno, but the drive from South Lake Tahoe is plenty in one day. I stay at the Veterans Guest House. Now I am waiting for umbilical hernia repair. The first surgery date was March 2015. I encountered the nurse-practitioner from hell who said lose weight but not how much and was so abusive . . . plus to try to recover at the Guest House would not be easy. So I’m going for getting the surgery at the hospital one block up the street from my home. Now, there is a little clinic in Minden, NV but it’s a no-brainer that they don’t do surgery! All summer I am calling the number on my card and getting bounced all over. Someone is paying salaries to people in NY, WA, LA, TX, and not a damn thing has been done. I am spitting mad. At this point I can’t do the wildlife rehab work that I love to do. Can’t walk or stand for more than two hours. I use the message system and my doctor inputs something somewhere but it all gets dropped because something didn’t happen within 7 days! I’ve been PC3 and Choice but nobody knows what the hell they’re doing and now my Choice Champion and two cohorts in Reno are never there when I call. I leave messages and nothing happens. I have been mildly disabled but now I’m just old — 73, with still a lot of life.

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