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Veterans Affairs is rolling out new telehealth partnerships that include Walmart and T-Mobile in a coordinated effort to expand services to rural veterans.

Veterans seeking checkups outside the concrete walls of a local VA medical center will soon be able to receive a check-up while getting groceries at Walmart or drinking beers with their buddies at a local American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, apparently.

T-Mobile, a large cellular communications multinational corporation, also announced its plan to make video health apps available for mobile customers nationwide.

“This totally changes the VA’s footprint for delivering care,” said Deborah Scher, executive adviser to the secretary for strategic partnerships at VA. “It changes (veterans’) ability to access care in a way that can better their lives.”

Ata a telehealth conference, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie informed attendees that 725,000 veterans used remote care in 2018. Around 45 percent of those were veterans in remote areas. Wilkie says VA intends to push the envelope, “Virtual care is the future of medicine.”

He continued, “It is our most powerful emerging tool. Ultimately it will improve and ease access for millions of Americans.”

Philips At Your VSO

Philips’ North American Health Systems plans to roll out telemedicine technology in remote areas at 10 sites to service veterans at posts belonging to American Legion and VFW.

“We can get this set up within a couple of days,” said Joe Robinson, senior vice president for Philips. “And they can do a heck of a lot with these set-ups. The connection is fast. The camera resolution is high enough to make some diagnoses.”

T-Mobile Apps

Free access to VA telehealth via T-Mobile is set to start immediately according to Mike Katz, executive vice president for the company. “The need for this is extraordinarily high,” he said. “The demand is extraordinarily high. So hopefully these changes whittle away at the friction in the way of veterans using these services.”

This is the trend for the American healthcare system being rolled through Veterans Affairs as a kind of beta. It seems safe to assume quality of healthcare will gradually be eroded as services of this type are released.

Future care will likely resemble Elysium or Idiocracy, at least for those of us unable to access care from a real doctor offline.

RELATED: New Regulations Expand Telehealth

VA App Store For Telehealth

I am really curious about your thoughts on VA App Store. Some of those apps allow remote access to electronic health records. The Immunization Campaign app “helps you easily administer immunizations to multiple patients in a quick succession.”

VA also rolled out the Exposure Ed app that supposedly helps VA and non-VA providers get up to speed on a particular veteran’s chemical, physical, and environmental exposures.

You can count on this app causing problems when DOD or VA refuse to acknowledge what happens. Non-VA doctors will think you are nuts when you explain exposure at a burn site VA claims does not exist.

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38 Comments

  1. A joke, their just greasing the palms for fake privatization. It is a total waiste of time and money. Think about it this way, we’ll be able to go to a VFW if your a member, get hammered, have a checkup and get your prescriptions. Like I said it’s an expensive fraud.

    • Could be worse. Our little CBOC is right across the street from a cannabis shoppe, and right next door to a brew pub. What could go wrong?

    • Do not and i do mean do not use Walmart for anything that has to do with veterans because they can’t even sell a phuckin’ good van battery that i had to take back twice and still lost my van to the city of Miami Shores
      on June 4th 2018. We are going to regret not sticking together and letting outsiders make decisions for us. Every NEWBY secretary has been a f’kup since before Eric Shinseki, they do not know what the hell they are doing and they are getting paid to do stupid Zschitt “WHAT A DREAM JOB! Huh”?

  2. We all know how that’s gonna turn out. What if I got a pimple on my pecker? Do I send a picture then wait for a knock on my door so they can arrest me? Ladies and gents anouncing the new and improved Technimed 2000! WAAA WAAA WAAAAAA!

  3. Everything is alway negative isn’t it? You don’t have a clue what the program is and it’s bad. Grow the Hell Up. Telehealth works and has for a while now. BTW if you have a pimple on your pecker you would want to get off your ass and go to a CBOC or Medical Center. Oh and stop pulling on it so much. 😉

    • When you’ve been dealing with the VA for over 40 years you learn to roll with their punch’s and some develop a sense of humor to cope with the stress that they produce. I’m sorry you haven’t had your coffee yet, but don’t piss in mine bobby boy. If this is the way your going to react to the comments posted here, then your in for a ride for sure.

    • They really do pamper some of you vets because the inspectors want to hear from someone that has been brainwashed into thinking we all get good health care and proper professional treatment from even the VSO’s.
      I was treated so bad in the ELIGIBILTY department years ago that some of them almost lost their lives. Good thing i complained to the OIG Huh? They should be thankful. They may take really good care of 230 out of 230,000! We should all be treated the same even those with PTSD thank GOD i don’t have it but they can surely cause it by not paying the benefits they owe.

    • Guess you have not dealt with the VA very much have you? I have dealt with them since 1985 and it took damn near 20 YEARS for me to finally get them to understand the 22 surgeries I had on my service connected injuries was not done as a lark, not the NY sized phone book of my medical files completely detailing step by step of how they were getting worse. It took the Tiger Team to finally come out and ORDER the VA to place me at 100% perm and total, something they should have done about 8 years after I started going to see them.

      You want to polish the VA’s knob, have at it. But DO NOT come in here thinking you are going to try and tell the rest of us how we should be thankful for these losers. Granted there are some good ones there, but 90% of them are losers that never should be around patients, let alone have a degree.

    • #oorah

      Every once in a while, this site offers something that’s helpful, but 90% of the time it’s just something so depressing that it helps drive the veteran suicide rate.

  4. Only WalMart already has telehealth booths and scooters large enough for WalMart customers and most VA employees…T-Mobile’s reputation for crap-service+ VA…marriage made behind a dumpster in WalMart parking lot.

  5. Are all those dual-citizenship advisors with special interest going to have to, or be forced, to use telehealth bull shit? NO. Seems most want to think that crap works well for everyone and themselves included. To hell with all others I guess as long as ‘they’ are taken care of. Usual sentiments. Some out here have experienced just how well telehealth works…. not really. Not for all or every damn thing or issues. Oops system is down, can’t locate your files, can’t locate your test results, barf barf barf. We need to send out a robot for your colonoscopy or hemorrhoid issues.

    Snakes in the globalist grass; Sher – Katz!
    “https://www.milkeninstitute.org/events/conferences/global-conference/2018/speaker-detail/32263”

    “https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikatz”

    Many can’t get quality health care in physical form now but many think the AI systems or tele-crap is a improvement?? Not to forget the privacy issues or the killing fields of the wanted 5G crap that other little countries that want to rule the world refuses to use in their crap hole villages or nation. It’s more about BS, $$$$$$$$, more controls, more excuses, more distractions, the corporate/medical/predatory masters, extermination, etc.

    I bet the DC elite still get their house calls from their high paid physicians. Like Congress has their special hospital clinic not a stone’s throw away. Oy Vey!!! How many damned advisors does the VA need as med care is turned upside down and countless people are offing themselves due to all this crap from advisors and med school kiddies?

    We’ve already been living the “Elysium or Idiocracy” ways of living and health care, for many years in fact. So much for all that “situational or environmental” awareness stuff. Big laugh. MSM, modern medicine, some study claims something the public and sheep swallow it all hook-line- and sinker without question.

    People think 5G like “sonograms” are safe for babies??? Microwaves are a good thing to cook with constantly and live in? A little exposure to burn pits, depleted uranium, mercury, aluminum crap, RF, to daily propaganda bombardment is okay. Get real. I don’t know whether the cheerleaders are just running on cognitive dissonance, ignorance, fear of reading, self interest alone, ego tripping, playing sociopaths, drank too much city water or that from Lejune, or from pure agents of evil.
    “https://www.electricsense.com/6485/acousticom-2-emf-meter-my-review/”

  6. One on hand Technology has its Conviences but were Exposing our Personal/Health Records to be Breached or Hacked at some point, its not if its going to happen its when its going to happen. By the time it happens the majority of Vets/Rural won’t know it happened, its a catch 22 situation I think they would be given the option or still have to option to drive to a facility to get care, thats what i would do….

  7. Telehealth is a fucking joke and an excuse for an already overpaid profession to do even less because they are rich entitled wankers.

    Take your Telehealth bullshit, shove it up your rich asses and fuck off to Hell where you lazy bastards belong. Or commit seppuku.

    What a fuckin lions roar of a joke. Like you will ever be able to get through on the line. Fucksticks.

  8. My belief is Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert Wilkie try to convince the House Side or Senate Side of the Veteran Affairs Committee better Veterans Health Care and Disabled Veterans is 100 percent service connected and that on here because without Veterans we would not called United States.

  9. This is not “soon to be”. It is happening and has been expanding since I came back to CONUS in 2012. There has been a weekly Tele truck at the VFW here in this rural town of 6,000 since then that is now twice a week. Just 30 miles away, in another VA Medical Jurisdiction is a CBOC (Community Based Outpatient Clinic) that is a contracted clinic that is staffed with both contract staff and VA Employed Staff.

    If you want to look up the contract, Ben, it is a rented facility by the contractor in Scottsbluff, NE under the Black Hills, SD VA Medical Facilities which covers, in the VA’s vernacular, “the most severely rural area of the lower 48.”

    Wyoming doesn’t count because it is divided between the Metropolitan area of Denver, CO and Billings, MT. Billings is not considered “rural” because though only 170,000 plus, it has a trade area of 500,000?

    As for MK’s comment above, the Breach has already occurred multiple times. But some security measures have been instituted. Your SS# no longer appears on your medical notes or your VA ID card. For that matter even on your new SS card. My wallet no longer has “identity theft numbers” in it. Mine are memorized but my wife’s purse has hers written down because she cannot memorize them.

    I don’t have any information in my medical file that I would not be willing to share openly even though I’ve been in TBI/PTSD therapy since 1983. Even if I had something communicable, I wouldn’t want it not to be known to others for safety reasons though it might stigmatize me. I can easily say that because it doesn’t apply to me. If I had Hep C, I don’t know how I’d feel, but I’d certainly want the caregivers to know they should take the extra care dealing with my body fluids.

    • “I don’t have any information in my medical file that I would not be willing to share openly even though I’ve been in TBI/PTSD therapy since 1983. Even if I had something communicable, I wouldn’t want it not to be known to others for safety reasons though it might stigmatize me. I can easily say that because it doesn’t apply to me. If I had Hep C, I don’t know how I’d feel, but I’d certainly want the caregivers to know they should take the extra care dealing with my body fluids.”

      Yeppers. Precisely my policy for the same reasons. Particularly WRT information that should be immediately communicated to first responders should you be unconscious.

      As for the VA version of ‘Telehealth’, I just do not see it. Especially with regard to diagnoses.

      • Glad to see someone with sense about this. Telehealth for chronic conditions that are stable and monitored with lab, etc. is not a problem for me. Lab is primary today for even catching cancer in the early stages. My vitamin D slight deficiency even showed up. It would have been caught if I had used the local DAV telemedtruck as well. My conditions have been stable for 20 years so no sweat calling the Clinic for a refill. Still have to make an appointment for glasses, dental and to get my hearing aids adjusted.

      • What I don’t want for telehealth or TV health is a physician I’ve never seen physically. They cannot observe the technicians neurological knee hammering and rate the reflexes on a TBI patient. The physician has to do that themselves and have a personal recall about the last exam of a particular patient.

  10. No; I didn’t like the idea, there’s no repore built between doctor and patient.
    Just another way for the VA to cover up shit

    • I think the era of rapport with doctors set sail a long time ago. Decades ago, a doctor would poke and prod and palpate, and reflex and do thorough hands-on examinations of patients. Doctor visits could be an hour long. VA or otherwise, all you get today is a vitals check by a nurse, and a ten minute interview with a doctor who rarely looks up from their screen to generate an order for you to feed the Pig Pharma.

  11. I’m not opposed to Telehealth. The question is for which services. An even bigger concern is who decides which services will be relegated to Telehealth. We’re a minimum 3 hour drive to the nearest VA hospital. Six plus hours to Portland’s VA Health Center for specialists. I’m fine with sitting in front of a teevee for a chat, especially if it’s a follow up to a prior visit/treatment. I have indeed benefited from it. That said, I do respect a cynic suspicious veteran. The insidious policy of budget robbery and/or budget squeezing could readily see Telehealth become the obelisk on which a “program” of medical staff reduction can be mounted.

    As for Walmart? Not even at gun-point.

  12. I think the era of rapport with doctors set sail a long time ago. Decades ago, a doctor would poke and prod and palpate, and reflex and do thorough hands-on examinations of patients. Doctor visits could be an hour long. VA or otherwise, all you get today is a vitals check by a nurse, and a ten minute interview with a doctor who rarely looks up from their screen to generate an order for you to feed the Pig Pharma.

    • You are Definitely right probably been like that since 2008, Doctors are on the Clock from the time they walk in the door. My Psych Doctor is swarmed with one Client after another to only do a Diagnosis for about 10-20 min and a few months ago told me he can only see me 2x a year now since im 100% PT.

  13. After WalMart has been hacked and some of their database of customers has been compromised the VA now wants us to think that WalMart is safe to give details about our medical treatment and personal information via Walmarts servers and computers??

    Oh what could POSSIBLE be wrong with this idea??

  14. Ridiculous thinking this is an answer. They miss cancers and serious illnesses in person, not occasionally either. The only good see in is if they know existing problems and use in between appointments to see how doing. I can see malpractice suits by the boatload and taking your pants off in Walmart turning head with someone from produce holding your balls telling you to cough. I understand flu shots, some PCP crap and some mental health problems but not as 1st line of care. Who ever comes up with this shit is amazing, Walmart. Yale University has a huge motor home fitted like a small ER and uses to give care to people without insurance, there are also fitted to check women for breast cancer, blood mobiles and instead of an examination we get FaceTime asking if your butthole hurts.

  15. I do not believe any thing the VFW, 0r American legion or any other VSO has there nose stuck in is good for veterans. How can they always say they work for the veterans while having millions of dollars in there corporate banks. It is noone elses business other than my doctors what my medical status is. Not Walmart or publics supermarket or any one that has any chance of being hacked.

  16. Ditto to windguy
    Been seeing the same Doctor for 40 years and have to say the quantity of the Doctor visit disappeared, he blams Medicare for this(15min) per visit. I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to use any VA Doctors and don’t think I wanna use one with all the posts I’ve been seeing

  17. OMG – The concept is idealistic and would be of great benefit, but the reality is, we are not at that level of expertise to be able to diagnose and treat medical conditions via VTel.

    I have seen where retina scanning was being used with great success, and I was involved with this program with Mental Health which the results were so-so, better than nothing. The biggest problems I encountered with this program were more with the people, lazy RNs not wanting to set up the Vtel room for the appointment and department heads (TeleHealth vs Mental Health) fighting for dominance on how the program is going to be administered and who is going to get the credit and bonus. In addition, the Vtel system was not adequate to meet the demands of use as it was use for non-medical purposes as well (meetings). The results were VTel traffic jams and unavailable dedicated rooms.

    The veteran’s biggest complaint was the lack of feeling valued and being able to receive adequate care. However, the VA was trying to resolve these issues of providing care in regards to serving veterans in remote areas, veterans that are housebound, veterans that have social phobia issues, veterans that have transportation issues and, in addition, trying to adequately serve a population which is difficult to staff with the necessary medical professionals. So with that being said, is there a better alternative? I don’t think so, just have to keep on perfecting this mode of giving care. And of course, working on correcting the same old issue of creating workplace environments that are healthy and not dysfunctional.

    GodSpeed

    • Yes, there is a better way. Just a little history of when it was better. Get the Bankers out of financing Medical Education again.

      Go back to VA scholarships and physician pay scales. Telehealth and the trucks are a good augment. Telehealth has existed for a long time in the civil side. You could call your physician for an RX refill or he could call you to see how you were doing without necessitating an uncomfortable or difficult transportation problem.

  18. The only people that believe that “Telehealth” works are people that do not know what “REAL” Healthcare is supposed to look like!

    Just think, under the best circumstances, the medical professional on the other end of the camera is overworked already and REALLY DOES NOT KNOW YOU!

    The Medical Professional is UNABLE to perform a Full and Complete examination even under the best circumstances! They will ALWAYS be LIMITED by the Camera!

    What the VA does not reveal or consider when talking about Telehealth is the Fact that MOST people are EXTREMELY CAMERA SHY! As a result, their interactions with the Medical Professional and therefore their medical appointment will not as productive as an in-person appointment.

    One Major Problem with Telehealth is in the case the Medical Professional discovers a Medical Emergency situation, it is not impossible for any imitated action because of the vast distance between the Medical Professional and the Patient.

    As a result, these new location options could create a Life-Threatening Situation merely because they are not properly staffed my Medical Professions that are providing the Medical Service that they are Medically Qualified to Provide!

    Makes me wonder, just how much thought was put into this before they approved it and why they approved it.

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