VA Emergency Room Fee Basis

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

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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  1. @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.

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

    1. @-.-. .—, 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.

  3. @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.

    1. -.-. .—, 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.

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

  4. @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.

    1. @-.-. .—, 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.

      1. @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.

      2. 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.

      3. @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.

      4. 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?

      5. @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.

      6. @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

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

      8. -.-. .—, 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.

      9. @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

      10. @-.-. .—, 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.

      11. @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.

      12. @-.-. .—, 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.

      13. @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.

      14. @-.-. .—, 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.

  5. @-.-. .—, @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.

    1. @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?

      1. @-.-. .—, 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?

      2. @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.

      3. -.-. .—, 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.

      4. @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.

      5. @-.-. .—, 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.

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

      7. @-.-. .—, 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.

      8. @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.

      9. @-.-. .—, ???..? 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!!!

      10. @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.

  6. 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.:)

    1. @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.

  7. 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.

  8. @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…..

    1. @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!!!!

    2. @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.

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

  9. @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

  10. @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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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…

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

  12. 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.

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

    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!

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

    1. @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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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?

      3. @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.

    2. @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.

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

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

    3. -.-. .—, 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.

  15. 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.

    1. 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.

  16. Regarding several ongoing Negative SEO attacks against “”.

    After recently noticing the reposting of another commenter’s comment to several sites with BackLinks to this site I began looking into the problem. I found that there are several, ongoing, Negative SEO campaigns attacking this site which have caused a number of articles to be delisted from the search engine Google. Also the attacks have caused this sites ranking to be lowered by the search engine.

    One of the Negative SEO campaigns is also attacking other Veteran centric sites such as “” and other Veteran centric sites. Another Negative SEO campaign against this site leads directly back to the Meshkin Brothers, Flow Health, and Russians connected to Flow Health.

    I will be emailing Ben the information that I have found. Also will be providing him with instructions on how to prevent the attacks in the future.

    *** And now for something really scary. ***

    The following is a link to a video posted on YouTube where Alex Meshkin is boasting his company has access to 96% of all Americans medical records. That was in 2015.

    Rat Bastard / Alex Meshkin

    1. @Seymore Klearly- Great sleuthing on the hacks, and that Meshkin Mess. Yet another little gift from the VA that will no doubt keep nipping Veterans in the ass in coming years.

      No PC issues or otherwise on this end, but also am well-protected as one can and should be, but nothing is impenetrable 100% these days and reason the VA is worse agency to even hope that they will or have taken appropriate measures to protect our info…AND…keep-up constantly with the needed updates to such measures. I have seen how the search engine is skewed with google and not a good thing. Ethical Hacking of sorts.
      The VA seems to have trouble even keeping sterile surgical and medical equipment on hand and ready, so how do we hope they will keep a program up to date or pay a vendor to do it? Not.

    2. @Seymore Klearly – – – Thanks for backing us up. And, I’ll second your comment, “Meshkin, that Rat Bastard.”

    3. Thanks for your comments, so they are running scared and are not attacking veterans on this and other sites.

      Veterans are only a hurtle for the VA and of no concern. We are not people, they have made us the enemy.

      What do you do to your enemy, attack and they don’t care who they hurt or how.

      Is this against any law’s ! If so Ben and other’s should blast them back and let the public knows what they are doing.

      WE know VA employees are exposed and retaliation is their MO !

  17. @figure8fan- Agree. The VA don’t like giving up control. The VA also doesn’t believe in the less invasive operations provided by Laser Spine Institute [LSI], because some procedures aren’t FDA approved. Hmm, I shall we believe that the FDA is always right? Watch the late night tv commercials where Attorneys are taking Pharmaceutical cases. I’ve personally seen individuals that had surgeries performed by LSI. VA tries to always keep their hands locked onto you. Dirty hanta virus carrying quacks.

    1. Disregard grammar mistakes. Its early afternoon, and I’m still pulling things together.

      1. I’m always still pulling things together and by the end of the day it’s usually a big knot. 🙂

  18. Repost – VA Prescription Question – – – If a Private Sector Physician makes out a script for a Veteran, is the VA obligated to fill the prescription if it is on the VA’s formulary? What about the medication is not listed on VA’s formulary. Looking for loopholes in the crooked and corrupted system. Your help is appreciated. – – – Thank you, Nutter.

    1. ANutterVet,
      This is from the VA Website:
      Filling Prescriptions from Non-VA Providers:

      VA will provide medications that are prescribed by VA providers in conjunction with VA medical care. Medications are prescribed from an approved list of medications called a formulary. VA will fill prescriptions prescribed by a non-VA provider only if all of the following criteria are met:
      •You are enrolled in VA health benefits
      •You have an assigned Primary Care Provider
      •Your have provided your VA health care provider with your medical records from your non-VA provider
      •Your VA health care provider agrees with the medication prescribed by your non-VA provider.

      Your VA health care provider is under no obligation to prescribe a medication recommended by a non-VA provider

      The last part is the best. They are under no obligation to prescribe…

      So I think they will go with that so they can have more control over us.

      1. @OLDMARINE- Thanks pops for the link. Earth Clinic is easily laid out for smooth searching. Tips for pets too. – – – Nutter

      2. @OLDMARINE- Reviewed the site more thoroughly, and I’ve decided to add Earth Clinic to my Alternative-Natural Health Cure files. I even searched for recent controversial medical terms, and Earth Clinic provided the latest informative links on the subjects. Now I’m going to search for natural cures for K9 ailments. Thanks again. – – – Nutter

      3. always glad to help …. i have tried a lot of off the wall crazy remedies i have read, on myself first and if it helps i try passing it along…after i got my kidney taken out i sat here for 2 years reading everything from a to z couldn’t do anything else… i like reading about people that beat cancer that even try strapping a magnet to their tumor to see if that helps might sound crazy but if it works for you, go for it,,,LOL have a great day….but diet is everything and no sugar=0

      4. @OLDMARINE- Sugar addiction is a big problem, especially in the US. We’ve been using stevia for over 10 years, even before the big food companies started to market stevia in its many mixed forms with other types of sugars. Sugar feeds Candida albicans; a yeast infection that is undiagnosed in the US. Most Physicians think that it is mainly a female issue, and their treatment modalities are questionable as well. The VA is lacking in the understanding of how to correctly determine if one has a C. albicans infection.

        I had the VA do a blood test to determine if Candida was causing some of my ailments. There are multiple tests that are available, and so I asked which test that they used on my blood sample. I had to wait 3 weeks for a letter, because my PCP [a Nurse Practitioner] didn’t know what test that was used. This is the type of so-called professional medical providers that the VA hires, accepts, and protects. Go figure.

        There is a sub-field of study in medicine called “Infectious Diseases.” When I suspect any type of Micro-Organisms that may be involved with a medical condition(s), I always ask if a PCP has taken additional studies in some sort of sublevel studies of Microbiology. If a PCP has focused their training in Micro-Organisms, they tend to have more critical thinking characteristics [my opinion]. – – – Again, thanks for the link, Nutter.

      5. I bought one of these and haven’t been sick yet. i clip the alligator clips straight to the skin on my wrist…it might sting for a while but what the hell is a little pain,,,,,.””……..i dont even use stevia water-water-water with the proper PH content

  19. @Lily – Thank you for the input. It get a little confusing since Microsoft has Internet Explorer, and Edge for browsers. I’ve used Firefox before, I will review it after I eat ganga brownies.

    Prescription Question – – – Does anyone know that if a Private Sector Physician makes out a script for a Veteran, is the VA obligated to fill the script or not? – – – Thanks, Nutter.

    1. @Lily – – – No, I’m changing my reviewing protocol when trying Firefox. I will deliver the cannabinoids via pulmonary method, the to satisfy my munchies, I will indulge in eating homemade thin crusted pizza made in a wood fired oven. The first time I had these types of pizza was when I was in Italy. I sure miss that place, only for visiting though.

      1. @Dennis – – – Oh yes they do eat each other! Nowadays, you have to closely watch them because some people will help themselves. Mama fills my cannabinoid cookie jar on a daily basis. She creates two flavors [Sativa and Indica], but you must keep in mind that there are many strains or variations of each main group.

        To make sure you get the best ones, you must keep your eyes open for certain nugget characteristics; compact, sticky, have no morsels inside, and coated with crystals fine flaky sugar.

        And the smell. Well my, my. Especially the ones that give off strong notes of Limonene, alpha-Pinene, Myrcene, Linalool, beta-Caryophyllene, Caryophyllene Oxide, Nerolidol, and Phytol.

        @Dennis, you many want to read how these organic compounds have beneficial effects on you when applied using the pulmonary method. Happy browsing, searching, and shopping to you.

  20. To All – Updates on PC Repairs – – – I wanted to inform you that my PC seems to be running properly. I still need to inspect many files for completeness. I hope that who ever creates these cyber-weaponry destructing viruses, robots, malware, or those that implement such items that intrude, invade, or to cause damage like what happened to me, that they are caught, and punished to the full extent of the law. I know that this can be a tall order to hope for. But hey, I believe that those who continually do things that causes turmoil, that someday someone will come along and seal things up. Anyway, the past 3 weeks have not been easy on me, since I heavily rely on being online instead of continually talking to myself.

    Also, I must report that there has been some excellent movement of possibly obtaining private sector health care. I have slowly, but surely, been taking calculated measures in separating myself from the long armed grasps, and the inflictions of Evidence/Experienced-Based Medical Practices of the VA.

    So far, 2017 has been very challenging, and hopefully my plan will yield a team of dedicated friends, associates, and professionals that will help me to obtain a healthier way of life, and to be free from the umbrella and union protected medical personnel of that corrupted Monster of a Federal Agency; the VA. I know, not all VA employees are like that, but many are controlled and forced to act in this type of manner due to being in fear of losing their employment from the VA. I’ll keep you folks updated on further progress. – – – Thank you, Nutter.

    1. Try Firefox, put cache to 0 MB and don’t record history. Use noscript and Zenamate vpn.

      1. Thanks, my County ER is a lot worse than our community ER. I think medicare is forced to go to county ER. So this means the VA is doing something right by letting vets avoid the county ER.

  21. About Single Payer, the solution:
    (The below plan was presented to David Cutler as an evolutionary plan not a revolutionary plan. It is essentially an Accountable Care solution that is in trial in the ACA but the contracts, like Choice, have been given to mega medical corporations leaving the real choice out and ELIMINATING CHOICE AND COMPETITION THROUGH MONOPOLIES.
    It should cover MEDICAID and should be open to anyone who doesn’t have insurance on a means basis the way the “single payer” plan is in Japan. It should also be an option for MEDICARE and anyone else. It is believed the bonuses for better care and service will provide a service that will be the most attractive to all as they see it work and as it brings its costs down.) Contract size needs to be limited for competition and to allow patients to receive greater choice with their Single Payer Card.
    To obtain optimum health care for less we must change the way we buy health care. It is easy to do. All that is necessary is to stop letting the special interests control the market through fear mongering. We are the source of the money and we can decide how we want to give it over to the health care providers and insurance companies. As we decide we wish to change the way we buy health care, the health care providers will have to adapt the way they sell or get out of the health care business.

    The Meat:

    The ACCOUNTABLE CARE PLAN (ACP), has contract bonuses based on morbidity report line items and service satisfaction reports such that the bidder for a contract would see the bonus as the expected profit if a projected performance is met.

    Endemic health problems for a bid area could be approached by providing increased bonuses on that morbidity report line item. An example of a morbidity line item and its related bonus might be .01% for meeting a minimum acceptable rate of live births.02% for achieving a national average rate of live births .02% for achieving a locally set goal of live births .02% for exceeding the locally set goal by 20%Etc.The above is picked out of the air. It would be expected that contract administrators would be able to set the bonus items somewhat scientifically on a goal achieving target basis which should be somewhat based on community input. Such items should bring more focus on the less costly preventive medicine methods of health maintenance and benefit us all with a longer life expectancy and lower cost health maintenance.

    Others have been thinking along the lines of some of these details.

    Peter Diamond: Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in 1992 entitled “Fanny Medic”. His basic premise, we should buy health care based on where we live, is on the right track but the Sperry Plan had it first. Lemuel was promoting the better and more complete ACCOUNTABLE CARE PLAN in the Los Angeles area in 1991 as a potential ballot initiative but was unable to have or raise finances sufficient to get it off the ground.


    The ACP buys health instead of sickness. Contracts for health maintenance would be issued by location with the consumer choosing his home zip code, his work zip code, his school zip code, or a neighboring zip code for the location of his health care.

    The consumer would be able to choose his physician and hospital with in his selected area. Emergency care would be at the nearest available site with fixed day rate transfers between the provider of the care and the patients health maintenance contractor. (This charge would be similar to the fixed charges by military medical facilities for emergency care to those who would not otherwise be qualified for care at military facilities.) A patient who becomes dissatisfied with his contract area’s care should be able to change his area at will.

    There would be no co-payments.

    A physician’s assistant corps would be developed by methods similar to the training of Navy corpsman. The physician’s assistant corps could be reserve military and would be assigned to health maintenance contractors on request with the contractor picking up the costs of pay and benefits for the members of the physician’s assistant corps assigned to them.

    The physician’s assistant corps is the backbone of the preventive medicine item of no co-pay. Physician’s assistant corps volunteers should be able to receive full scholarships to medical, nursing or medical technical school if they are mentally and physically qualified, including the pay and benefits of military academy cadets if a slot is available. They would be required to continue to serve the corps as assigned for a minimum of say 2 years for each year of training as a means of payback.

    The ACP has a contract bonus based on morbidity report line items and service satisfaction reports such that the bidder for a contract would see the bonus as the expected profit if a projected performance is met.
    Endemic health problems for a bid area could be approached by providing increased bonuses on that morbidity report line item. An example of a morbidity line item and its related bonus might be .01% for meeting a minimum acceptable rate of live births.02% for achieving a national average rate of live births .02% for achieving a locally set goal of live births .02% for exceeding the locally set goal by 20%Etc.The above is picked out of the air. It would be expected that contract administrators would be able to set the bonus items somewhat scientifically on a goal achieving target basis which should be somewhat based on community input. Such items should bring more focus on the less costly preventive medicine methods of health maintenance and benefit us all with a longer life expectancy.

    A percentage of the bonuses would be required to be shared with all employees on a pro-rata basis to help improve “bed side manner”.

    1. No type of current medical provider would be blocked out of being a contractor or subcontractor. If an insurance company using fee based medicine could achieve profitable results and meet the morbidity and consumer satisfaction standards they could bid on a contract. The patient however, must be exempt from filling out claim forms other than signing a certification that the care was received. It is unlikely that an insurance company could obtain a competively basis bid contract because of their added costs of claim administration and a requirement that they pay all claims.

      Anyone who is satisfied with their present medical plan would be able to continue it. Employers who provide health insurance presently would be required to maintain what they have as long as the employer cost to the employee isn’t raised and be required to add ACP as an option. Everyone would be required to pay ACP premiums according to their means, and other available coverage; a minimum premium for National Catastrophic incident coverage and would be transferred to ACP on exhaustion of all other insurance benefits. In this manner The ACP would replace much of MEDICAID. Everyone would be required to be insured or post an adequate bond to assure their ability to pay for their health care out of pocket. In the event they choose to “roll the dice” and not pay for health insurance other than the means tested catastrophic fee collected with the Income Tax (MEDICAID now hidden in your tax bill), they would have to catch up all unpaid premiums from the point of their last coverage until they need insurance covered care. (Similar to what MEDICARE does now for those who elect not to have other than hospital coverage except not as onerous.)

      The ACP would take all pre-existing conditions without an additional charge. Any state desiring to add their welfare recipients or other destitute residents to The ACP could do so by doing the means testing and could elect to pay the premium for such individuals as they do for Medicare through their Medicaid system.

      Premium collection and issuance of insured cards would be administered by the IRS while the contract auditing and oversight would be by the National Public Health Department. Local area contracts would be administered by contract administrators selected by state publically elected officials and approved by the Surgeon General of the U.S.

      Prescription Drugs need to be free. We don’t want anyone to die because they can’t afford or think they have more important choices than their medication. To keep the cost down, military style pharmacies should be at all clinics. How the commercial pharmacies will be compensated for loss of business is a question? Perhaps they could bid as a subcontract for providing pharmaceutical services.

      THE ACP is not written in stone. Let’s discuss it and revise it to the point that most voters will accept it. It can be revised or repealed even after it is enacted. But let’s get off the fence and do it. Just do it.
      Plenty of space has been left to insert flags in the pdf file, or if you choose you can recommend changes in the word document and send which ever you use back to me. We’ll discuss the changes and up dates on the various forums for this purpose. Ultimately, I may send 2 or 3 versions to Senators Enzi and Borasso and the institute writing the details. (I’m still hoping to be selected to be on the institute.)
      Questions that have not been addressed:

      Tort reform

      In 1963, the ACP was hatched by a Dr. Webb (If I remember his name accurately) aboard the USS Sperry AS-12 following a Saturday morning sick call just before the watch was set and the liberty crew was off for the week end. It has since tweaked it to avoid the “incentive problems” which, although different, exist both in socialized medicine and fee based medicine.

      Some of the corpsmen were complaining because of the “minor things” such as simple colds etc. that members of the crew were bringing to sick call and were saying that there should be a co-payment similar to that which civilian insured had to pay for medical care so the medical department could concentrate on the more serious complaints.

      Dr. Webb insisted that the “Navy Medicine” was best and that it should be adapted for a National Health Care system. He said it best met the reasonable goals of medical care by both the right minded health care providers (the ones you would want to take your problem to) and the patient.

      Goal 1: The right minded physician doesn’t want to worry about the patient’s ability to afford the care and adjust his diagnostic procedures accordingly.

      Goal 2: Both the physician and the patient want the best possible outcome and want to have available whatever advanced diagnostic procedures, treatments and equipment is available.

      Goal 3: Both the patient and the physician don’t want to worry about the money. The patient whether he can afford it or not and the Dr. who wants the best mental attitude in his patient for the optimum outcome and no paperwork or worry by the Dr. in getting paid for his services. The patient particularly doesn’t want to worry that he is getting an unnecessary operation because the Dr. needs the money.

      Good as far as it went but it needed tweaking.

      Later analysis realized the “economic incentives” were the primary impediment to optimum medicine. In socialized medicine, such as “Navy medicine”, HMO’s and other socialized medical programs there is no financial incentive to the provider for doing their best. (As was exhibited by the complaining of the corpsman on the Sperry) The patient is locked in to the provider to a greater of lesser degree. The provider gets no more or less money based on the quality of service.

      Fee based providers actually work harder and longer hours in order to obtain a larger customer base (practice).

      HMO’s improve their bottom line by denying the patient some tests or procedures because they may show no pathology—thus often delaying the care of the “cold symptoms” until the problem has gone too far. Also denied are extra days in a hospital bed that may have proved beneficial.

      Fee based medicine sells you as much as they can get away with, or as much as you or your insurance will pay for. (A problem that has to be dealt with by all single payer plans such as Medicare and Medicaid)

      The socialized medicine care giver must derive his motivation to give his best care altruistically. At least there is some motivation to control costs and some motivation to control costs by getting the patient healthier from management.

      In Fee based medicine the primary impediment to optimum care is profit motive that goes against the patients’ goal of getting healthier. No fees are paid by or on behalf of healthy people. So the economic motivation is contra the Patients health. Less incentive for preventive medicine.

      If there is not enough call for your new drug you advertise to drum up new business. Never mind if you flood the physicians’ offices with hypochondria. Some won’t mind because they get their fee.

      In 1965, while working a part time night shift in a local Catholic hospital in Waukegan, IL near the Great Lakes Naval Hospital, a conversation between two physicians in the canteen late at night was overheard.

      They had apparently just finished with an emergency cesarean. One was saying to the other, on that late spring night, that he had seen a boat at a local marine sales that he just had to have, but didn’t have enough for a down payment. “Would you believe it,” he said, “3 hysterectomies walked into my office on Monday.”

      One must question how many of these were necessary. Certainly the physician believed the hysterectomies were necessary or he wouldn’t have mentioned them. And he didn’t give thought to how it must sound. Still, how much was his judgment colored by his moment of financial need. And would the second, then scowling physician have done them. (More emphasis for the need of the ACP)

      Fee based hospitals markup things provided to the patient based on item cost. There is no incentive to shop for the cheaper elastic back support because 30% of $70 is more than 30% of $30. And if they can get it cheaper they can still do the markup on the higher cost, as long as they keep some of the higher cost ones, and get away with it. So the elastic back band that you could get off the shelf at a local department store for less than $30 will probably cost you or your insurance company more than $90 if it is provided to you in a hospital emergency room.

      1. Too long and had to be continued in multiple posts. Hope some of you take the time to read it.

    2. In 1965, while working a part time night shift in a local Catholic hospital in Waukegan, IL near the Great Lakes Naval Hospital, a conversation between two physicians in the canteen late at night was overheard.

      They had apparently just finished with an emergency cesarean. One was saying to the other, on that late spring night, that he had seen a boat at a local marine sales that he just had to have, but didn’t have enough for a down payment. “Would you believe it,” he said, “3 hysterectomies walked into my office on Monday.”

      One must question how many of these were necessary. Certainly the physician believed the hysterectomies were necessary or he wouldn’t have mentioned them. And he didn’t give thought to how it must sound. Still, how much was his judgment colored by his moment of financial need. And would the second, then scowling physician have done them. (More emphasis for the need of the ACP)

      Fee based hospitals markup things provided to the patient based on item cost. There is no incentive to shop for the cheaper elastic back support because 30% of $70 is more than 30% of $30. And if they can get it cheaper they can still do the markup on the higher cost, as long as they keep some of the higher cost ones, and get away with it. So the elastic back band that you could get off the shelf at a local department store for less than $30 will probably cost you or your insurance company more than $90 if it is provided to you in a hospital emergency room.

      And with insured Fee based medicine you have to worry about the catastrophic incidence.

      If you have an automobile accident with a paralyzing back injury your insurance will be maxed out of benefits. You will have to divest of all your assets and request Medicaid unless you are a multi-millionaire. When looking at “health care” costs, particularly the runaway costs in the U.S. now, one must consider the total national cost and all elements in it rather than our personal individual portion because we are paying our share of the total one way or another. We pay in higher taxes, higher passed on cost of goods and services, or directly in higher medical and medical insurance costs to make up for those who don’t or can’t pay.

      So you say, “I don’t like the HMO medicine, so I know I won’t like socialized medicine. How about the point system, single payer, fee controlled national plans such as Japan and Canada.” They have the best part of fee based medicine for the consumer and I won’t have to worry about affordability. I’ll pay according to means. And I won’t have to worry about divesting my assets that I plan to pass on to my children to cover catastrophic health care costs.

      And all HMO’s aren’t so bad. Secure Horizons of CA use to provide MEDICARE recipients full coverage including dental with no co-pays for the MEDICARE premium under a contract with MEDICARE that allowed them to avoid the claims form administration except for out of area care for which there was also a co-payment.

      Fee based single payer point systems are better than socialized medicine and the multi–payer runaway plan we have now. The Japanese, for example can choose their physician and hospital for care. But their plan is not the best possible. And they still have the co-payment that causes some to wait too long to go the Dr.

      The primary problem with the single payer plans is they put the health care providers’ hands and insurer’s hands in your tax and premium pocket. This is not nearly the problem in Japan that it would be in the US because of the Japanese honor ethic.

      It doesn’t matter if you are ready to be discharged from the hospital, you’ll be kept as long as the point system allows. And the economic incentives are still not right. If you want better health care for less then the “market” should be structured in that way. The computer I am working on is cheaper and far better than my first computer. That is because the market is competitive in the consumers’ favor.

      Purely socialized medicine is deficient because of the quality of bedside manner, long lines and delayed access because of insufficient numbers of care givers and insufficient motivation of care givers to give extra time.

      Navy medicine, by not having a co-payment, all small problems that develop into big ones are followed and well documented. The over working of the physician is handled by the corpsman screening and taking care of those they can handle and documenting that “cold” that won’t go away so that when it comes time to look more closely to see if it is really a symptom of a major developing problem there will be no further delay by the physician waiting to see if it would get better on its own.

      Lem Bray
      [email protected]

      1. The roll out of the Accountable Care Plan at the VA was a serious problem. A lack of accounting controls led to a gaming of the system and the bonuses were weighted too heavily on upper management.

      2. Also the Kyosk has no exit entry or quiz about your satisfaction with the care you received. A biggie to get better for less.

    3. @Lem – – – I understand what you’re saying, but there is a major problem with the average American even understanding the makeup of a single payers plan, let alone any plan for the matter. The Big InSuraU Boys makes insurance purchasing complex. – – – The Nutter.

    1. @Crazy elf – – – You Tube seems to be working fine on my end. – – – Nutter.

      1. Yea, my phone just took a crap. Had to get another one.
        Taking time to learn about the new one!

    2. Yes they want you to get the new version and want you to agree to their rules. Did not read them all.

      They are forcing people who do not want the new version to wait 30 seconds before you can look at something else.

      Don’t know for sure. But if you keep waiting long enough you will stay on the old version.

  22. A Little Off Topic – – – On Friday, May 5, 2017, I tried to contact Congressman Paul Ryan’s Offices; three [3] in Ryan’s home State of Wisconsin, and his office in DC. It was my intention to leave a message that pertained to TrumpCare. Phone lines in Ryan’s Wisconsin offices were all busy, and the Washington, DC office’s voicemail box was completely filled. And, Ryan’s official website doesn’t list an email address for Citizens that live out of his State Congressional District. I’m not surprised.

    I’m also not surprised that most Republican Congressmen, like Democratic Congressmen, didn’t even read the full text of these competing Health Care Bills. Another reason why the Bodies of Washington, DC’s Elected Officials has a lower approval rating compared to the POTUS.

    @Ben, get well, and if you haven’t consider or done so, please think about and implement ways to reduce your stress, change your diet, taking preventative nutraceutical supplements, and the treaded, exercise program into your normal routine. As you know, we get one, earthy, physical round at this time called life. Take care. – – – Thank you, the Nutter.

    1. The individuals we elect are of normal intelligence. No human of normal intelligence could possibly read the millions of words published in the form of proposed laws that they will be asked to cast a vote or abstain. This is precisely the leverage that corruption needs to seed itself and flourish. This is also therefor to institute a Constitutional Republic which tends to give the most power to the most local folks. Imagine the VA, for instance, if they were governed by the State when their doctors practiced in the State? By placing the most local authorities next to the most local doctors the States decide locally what is acceptable and what is not. With VA, some dillywad PHD in Washington DC gets to decide for each local what is acceptable and what is not.

      No human undertaking whatsoever has been free of corruption, but there are things that slow it down. We fertilize a corrupt agency by hiring in foreign folks who have no intrinsic loyalty to America. The AFGE is also a symptom of this disease. It is a body of workers united by oath against a common foe, their employer – The United States People. We make the mistake permanent by creating a cabinet level grouping which places all of the above outside the reach of our Constitution, as President Reagan did and signed into law by Bush One, creating VA as a cabinet level group.

      It was a collosal error in Presidential judgement to do that and we are witness to the results today.

      1. @Dennis – – – Agreed. This is what created the power of this monster against Veterans; the VA. Needs to be tamed down and domesticated.

      2. We either need an entire squadron of poop canons or we are beyond even the mother of all poop canon’s mercy at this point?

        I’m still thinking giving the poop canons a go. Certainly cannot make a bigger mess. The problem we risk is, they may just love it…like throwing mud and pearls to swine. 🙂

  23. the health care problem was simply a matter of apportioning insurance coverage. That is what the stage magicians call misdirection. Any way you cut the dynamics of health insurance, as practiced in the USA these days, it is nothing but racketeering, literally a conspiracy between informed players to swindle uninformed “patients.” The debate in congress (and the news media) is just about who gets to be swindled.


      Indeed, there is only one thing they EVER debate in Congress as you pointed out – who gets to be swindled… Nice observation and true.

    2. Some Explanations for the High Cost of Medical Care – – – Besides the swindling tactics used by the House and Senate crews, I was thinking of how Evidence/Experienced-Based Medicine’s pros and cons has either added or subtracted from the high cost of medical care, and the possible extra costs due to correlation(s) between over providing of unnecessary medical tests and the efficiency of diagnosing medical ailments. And the following effects on medical costs due to . . .

      [1] the markup of hospital supplies that a patient is responsible for paying, [2] out-of-network or specialized Physician costs, [3] deductible amounts, [4] the type of chronic illnesses experienced with older Americans, [5] the cost to perform and develop new medical or test procedures, [6] pharmaceuticals, [7] electronic and robotic technologies, [8] the disconnection from consumers not making the decisions about the cost of their care or their coverage [tax-free Employer sponsored Healthcare], [9] no integrated or uniform way’s for consumers to understand treatment options and the costs associated with them, [10] hospitals and providers gaining market share and demanding higher prices [results of monopolistic marketing], [11] physicians being in fear of malpractice lawsuits, therefore purchasing malpractice insurance(s), and more, . . .

      And besides the closed doors dealings between lawmakers and the industry leaders, lets not forget about the kickbacks, bonuses, and profit awards, that adds to the cost of the affordably factor and efficiency in delivering healthcare in the US. Any thoughts? – – – The Nutter

      1. Old – The VA and to a large extent, Medicare, are deliberately mismanaged in order to illuminate a perpetual failure of a single payer system. Pig Pharma and Pig Med are forever the prime beneficiaries. I’ve seen first hand the British, German, and Aussie single payer system. They work just fine without the trauma to national treasure — or patients.

      2. As does Japan’s, Windguy. The number 1 or 2, at least in the top 10 WHO ratings for the past 10 years.

        At 37th the US last in the 19 “Industrialized countries” is below 18 “Third World Countries” in the WHO (World Health Organization) ratings. Look them up. See where we stand in % of centurions, live births, babies living to be 1 year old, quality of life after 75, after 85, after 90.

        And compare to where most of the veterans on this thread are.

      3. @Windguy, @OLDMARINE, @Lem, @Dennis – – – Oh don’t let us ever to count out BIG InSuraU if can pay for it. The Big’s and American Public don’t care about Veterans unless the their livelihood is effected, and the VA, well that’s an issue that the Man with the Light Orange Tinted Hair, and who talked up the hype bout taking care of Veterans during the Presidential Campaign, and a bit afterwards, but now, where’s the Donald? Donny, Donny, where are you Donny?

  24. Lolz Ben,

    I am glad to hear your outcome was good! I chuckled because your ER visit was reported at $6000. Hehe, my last ER visit that VA refused to pay, and SSDI refused to pay initially was $102,000. Let me tell you that when I get a bill for several hundred I do not owe it pisses me off.

    When I get a bill for $102,000 it just made me laugh! Who the hell even sends such a bill! it took a social worker 25 minutes on the phone with SSDI from my living room to correct the problem. Odd too insofar as the social worker paid by SSDI ALSO caled the VA and arranged for home help paid by VA even though they initially refused.

    Odd isn’t it that it takes one social worker paid by SSDI to work the VA system to obtain earned benefits? I wonder how any billions have been spent JUST paying folks just to unwind the the nightmare jungle of multiple healthcare options overlapping?

    Make no mistake about it – if either VA or SSDI finds even the slightest snafu within the paperwork then they have zero problem shoving a six figure bill off onto you. It is absolutely mind boggling how small of a technical error can turn your lifetime pledge of healthcare into a six figure bill in the mail! Eventually VA paid for a home helper and SSDI paid all but about a thousand of the huge bill. The real eye opener is that wih SSDI the social worker called the routine line to fix the problem.

    With VA the social worker called a friend of hers inside VA at a clinic on the Oregon Coast, several hours away by car. I was flagged as a violent patient so VA folks local refused to speak with me. The SSDI social worker called her friend in Brookings OR. This friend arranged to assign a doc in Brookings VA clinic who then prescribed a pill for anxiety. Then, because he became my PCP in doing so, he authorized the home help as part of a good friends deal!

    This REALLY opened my eyes to the depth of corruption at VA. If you know names and have friends then you survive. If you do not then good luck making it to the bathroom with shattered bones and no help! My advice herefor if VA is jerking you around is to obtain the services of a social worker who has a friend inside VA. Without the right connections you might just be shit out of luck if you too are on the shit list.

  25. Veteran Friendly, so many situations where the VA is involved in my life. Year after year and still the same. Some days good. Honestly, I liked that Vermont Veteran, where hospitals took Veterans and Civilians, and treated both. Sounds good to me. But, the only VA hospital I ever heard did that is that one.

  26. Hi brothers and sisters , sorry for the troubles that happens from outside health care due to not wanting to work with the PAYMENT ISSUES OWED TO THEM BY THE V A on our behalfs. I live one and a half hours from the closest V A hospital, on March of 2017 afternoon im hurting bad. I have a pacemaker with a defibrillator. My CARDIOLOGIST is a civilian Doctor, the hospital preferred by him because of being best equipped with medical machinery and technology he likes is where I’m taken to. The next thing I know my cardiologist is standing over me as I lay on a surgical table . He’s already informed my wife and NOW ME , HE SAYS ,AS YOUR CARDIOLOGIST I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT DUE TO YOUR HEART ❤️ CONDITION ,THAT MOST LIKELY YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE THE EMERGENCY GALLBLADDER SURGERY THAT THE SURGICAL UNIT SAYS YOU MUST HAVE . WOW WOW WOW ??? HE ALSO SAYS THE SURGERY WILL TAKE A MUCH LONGER TIME THAN NORMAL AND IT WILL BE NEAR IMPOSSIBLE FOR MY HEART TO HANDLE IT. ???????? . I say nothing, I didn’t know what to say , seeing this scene in fictional movies is one thing but being there and hearing this directed to me being THE REAL FACUL TRUTH IS A WHOLE DIFFERING MATTER.? . The next thing I knew I was arguing with a doctor because I was taken off pain Meds and hurting super bad. The surgery lasted almost ..3..hours with a removal of two golf ball size stones and many smaller ones removed along with the gallbladder itself. I was later told that I had became very combatant and ruthless during and after surgery. I woke up after surgery to find myself in restraints to the bed . I became pissed off and I remember something being injected into my I V ,than whoop, lights out. The next thing I remember ,I was telling the Doctor and nurses to call the V A HOSPITAL IN ATLANTA and tell them to come get me ,I told them I was 60 PERCENT SERVICE CONNECTED DISABLED AND I CAN SHOW THEM MY V A I D CARD. The hospitals on staff Doctor so he said he was ,would not allow anyone to notify the V A. I was having a super real bad reaction to the knock out Meds that was used on me during surgery and I don’t remember doing anything but arguing with a doctor and being pissed from being restrained. Well the next thing I know I’m being told I can’t go home because i was being taken by ambulance fifty miles away to a behavioral hospital for a few days . I said HELL NO ..YOU CALL AHEAD AND NOTIFY THE ATLANTA V A HOSPITAL THAT YOUR SENDING ME THERE. IF NOT GIVE ME THE PHONE AND I WILL CALL THEM. WE WILL NOT CALL THEM BECAUSE FIRST YOU MUST MAKE A APPLICATION TO THE V A TO BE SEEN THERE AND THAT PROCESS TAKES A YEAR. I SAID BULL SHIT IM ALREADY IN THERE SYSTEM , AND I’m A 60 percent service connected disabled vet and have a class 1 rating assigned to me by the V A themselves which is very high for Veterans status in the V A health care system , take me to the V A , PLEASE, THEY SAID NO . I THAN SAID I DEMAND IT. The answer was NO . THE DOCTOR than said , we have a contract with this behavioral hospital that we sometimes send patients to . YEP THAT LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG . They already knew I was retired with a income and they also knew how good my private insurance pays through my wife’s state employees plan. SEE HOW THE PUZZLE IS COMING TOGEATHER. Well off I’m taken transfered from bed to ambulance gurney while ( 3 ) security guards are watching ,I’m restrained back down with no wife around to say see you later. Midnight we arrive and I’m taken and booked into that nuthouse. Next thing I’m taken to a room with a bed in it and three guys standing there ,two built like MR Universe, you see it coming as you read this. With me in stitches and staples and JUST ARRIVING DELIVERED IN RESTAURANTS STRAIGHT FROM A HOSPITAL WHERE GALBLADDER SURGERY WAS DONE ,ITS FULL BODY SERCH TIME !!!!!! What the hell could I and how could I,had brought anything in there? You tell me. It’s about 12:45 AM by now and I’m given a sandwich and some juice and drink and eat while am watched , I finally lay down I’m getting so groggy and I fall asleep . What made that happen,for I would had never had fallen asleep on my own after that body SERCH. No sir not there. Maybe I needed to be there since I was stupid enough to fall for that simple ass trick. Well no visits no phone calls from anyone, no shrink ,no one trying to tinker with my thinker. Finally after taking my issued meds every day that I normally took at home I had not even once given them a problem in five days . I was allowed to call home , I called and my wife of over 42 years of marriage answered in her normal cheerful voice hellow, I said hey honey how are you A SUDDEN PAUSE……………..NO LONGER CHEERFUL well I don’t know I don’t know, baby I want you to tell that Doctor to let me come home I deserve the right to recoup in comfort in my own home . Well I don’t know if a ever want you back not ever, not after the things you said to me and the pregnant nurse you pushed down while you were I the hospital. “I said I don’t remember any of that stuff ,not one bit of it. Well three days later am released and my wife shows up and brings me home , wife is receptive of my being home .she said she knew and said the way I was in the hospital wasn’t me but the drugs and Anasteia was the problem all along. She said the Doctor even said that I was allergic to it. I was told forget it don’t look for answers for there’s not any . Well being x military that made my hound dog nose to start sniffing in a more powerful way. A copy of my recently new medical records from that gallbladder surgery . SURPRISE SURPRISE SURPRISE the many conversations my wife and Doctor had …Wow. I’ve never wanted ,planned,or tried to take my own life. NEVER. She doesn’t like my sleeping military flash backs . She says they happen every now and than and she doesn’t like it. I don’t either. The V A tested me for it many years ago and said I had it bad and listed me as unemployable. After many turn downs for PTS disability compensation, I said the hell with it. I worked a good job until I started having massive heart problems. The V A Is the V A . We praise them on some days and curse them on others. All I did was went to a hospital for help , had surgery ,told I would probably die in so many words, fought to stay alive ,God allowed it, wanted to go or at least call the V A, I wasn’t allowed to after I got home I asked my wife why she didn’t call the V A for me. She knows the protocol. Her answer , I thought you needed committed and would do it again if I thought it was necessary. I’ve never wronged her . Making divorce arrangements getting ready to move forward. Maybe why shouldn’t I. I’ve thought about it a lot ,ALOT. ROB. Your brother

    1. So they thought you were crazy and shipped you off. They decided your actions were from the reaction to some medication they gave you.

      Wonder why they did not think of this before they sent you. Medication works different on different people and you had an adverse reaction.

      What do your hospital record’s state from the psy unit. You may want to check and get copies. The VA can use this against you, if you should raise your voice.

      One only has to go on YouTube and watch people that have been to the dentist and certain medication given.

      Many are funny, but it proves that some people have a reaction, that they would never do other wise.

      Same thing with veterans when they are treated by psy doctor’s. It’s an experiment to see what works and what don’t.

      This should be taken into consideration by the treating team and family members.

      If you See more than one psy doctor. They can and will change medication, until they get it right.

      That could be a traumatic event in it’s self, you should not be held responsible for your actions, no more than the people who act funny after a dental appointment.

      Those that go to the ER, need to stay on top of the VA paying for the ER Bill, by staying in touch with the treating facility.

      It can say you problems down the road. If the VA has not paid it in a reasonable time, contact them at least once or twice a month.

      I had a facility going to send me to collections, I kept in touch with the VA and the treating facility and the VA contacting them and me 3 way phone call. Done

      1. I always tell those that want to listen, be it veterans or anyone else. If it’s important, especially health records, make copies. I have and will continue to do the same always.

  27. Glad you are doing better Benjamin Krause. I am also thankful you were not stuck with an expensive er bill. I do not understand how the va is allowed to bill a Veterans insurance for service connective injuries and illnesses.

    One of the first things they ask a Veteran in registration is if they have insurance and the insurance billing begins. If a Veteran who has service connected PTSD and receives therapy at the va the va bills his/her insurance. How is this possible? The va is looking to get out of paying for a Veterans service connected injuries any way they can.

    Why does it have to be a 72 hour window timeframe? A Veteran/financial counselor is to call the fee base clerk office within 72 hours and tell them they had received emergency services. I think that is an unrealistic demand if a Veteran is in emergency crisis or has severe injuries.

    1. Exva, in my case, they first claimed they were allowed to bill my insurance. When I questioned how they could bill for service connected conditions, they claimed a UMR nurse missed it in my records. When it continued, they said it was my fault for making sure it was coded properly. Then they changed their excuse to blaming the provider for not coding it properly. When I said it happened in different clinics, they said it was because the billing was consolidated with another state.

      It was just excuse after excuse.

      1. @91Veteran, so a Veteran is now responsible for the correct code for billing? I guess we might as well write our own progress notes put it under the correct cpt code and make sure the provider signs off on it. LOL!!!

        And I do not know how they get away with sharing our insurance information.

        The va medical center i worked at billed private insurance all the time for a Veterans service connected problems. They believe they are entitled to that money regardless.

        You are right it is always an excuse after any excuse will do.

    2. The ER has financial counselor has 72 hours from the time he/she has obtained the information about your payment resources. Because of the wait time from the VA they often try to get it directly from you if you have the resources without pursuing your “VA ACA” insurance the way they would for a Medicare recipient.

  28. I had a service connected heart attack, with complications. On second there, I told woman who talked insurance, I wanted the fee service or choice card. I still owe. I was incapacitated for five days. No family, and friends don’t live close and didn’t know. I’m just saying, there’s a lot of Veterans like me, that can’t get things done are their time. It takes them months to pay, and somehow I’ve got 72 hours.

  29. I believe it is a little more complicated than as everyone described. I was looking into the rules about a year ago. Of course, I suppose that the rules may be in a state of flux. I had never heard that a disability was necessary for reimbursement. I had heard something about you needing to have an income in the poverty range or lower. I had heard that if you simply have any other type of health insurance, including Medicare they will not entertain your claim whether the other insurance pays partially or not at all. Medicare is also tricky in that they will only pay if you are ‘admitted’ to the hospital. And that if the admitted status should be changed to not admitted, both Medicare/VA will not reimburse the hospital. What a complicated game the VA weaves. In talking to VA reps about different topics, they sometimes provide contradictory statements or provide incorrect information. They are very difficult to deal with, and I am assigned to the Hudson Valley System which supposedly has a 5-star rating.

    This is one of the reasons I jockingly tell friends that if I have a medical emergency just let me die where I am.

    1. If you sign up for VA Health care and are eligible that is all you need under the ACA unless your employer provides insurance. No means test for emergencies but if you are not “Medicaid” eligible under the ACA there may be a copay. So, yes rules are constantly being rewritten under the ACA in the VA regulations. The ACA is the law and 38 CFR is its interpretation for veterans. The law is fixed and the regulations are subject to Reaganesc “pen” changes. Executive orders. There is some limit to deviation from code (the law) but you have to challenge them in District Court and usually appeal to the Court of Appeals for Federal Claims. So essentially we are at the mercy of Sec VA and the “Donald’s pen”.

  30. An alternative if a Veteran cannot make it to any given emergency room is simply call the VA’s Suicide Hotline and make quacking sounds anytime they ask you on phone for info….and in no time, the real quack on the other end will send an extraction team to a nice solitary (or not) room with immediate healthcare needs taken care of, a few days of observation, wipe-off the drool and carry-on. (providing you were not transferred to the VA”s stormtrooper DBC extraction committee, then you are just truly f^cked)

  31. I believe it is one disability with a 50% rating or a combined rating of 70%. Second do both either call or have someone call immediately. Then use recorded media within the 72 hours. If it is someone doing it for you and they don’t know how to record media to the VA they should send an email to your congressman and keep a copy. The ER care operator at the VA will always tell you they cannot guarantee payment.

    Finally, if you don’t have transportation and have an urgent care problem call and go to the ER instead of a clinic. The VA will pay an ER visit but not a Clinic visit unless you are authorized Choice. Just because you have a Choice card doesn’t mean you have an authorization number. You have to call the Choice number and it takes time to get a Choice Authorization. (2 months for my next 6 month authorization) Choice is not ER authorization even if the name on the door is the same as on the door of your authorized Choice clinic.

    An urgent care visit has to be authorized separately on Choice if you don’t use one of your authorized visits to your Primary Care Physician. For example the Clinic I go to has one physician daily cover urgent care. And it usually isn’t my PC. So I either have to wait until she can see me or go through the process of going to an ER which costs the VA a lot more if I don’t want to end up paying the bill myself.

    All ancillary services must be authorized separately or gotten through the VA. Prosthetics have to be gotten through the VA.

    The Patient Advocates will only tell you the directions are on the web site but they are not and the Choice operators don’t know either. So make sure you have an authorization number faxed to the care giver when you check in for an urgent care or lab work, Xray, etc.

    Lot of bugs to be worked out of Choice and it may end in August. There is no authorizations that I know of beyond August.

    When you get something done a the VA including your prescriptions filled you have to give them a copy of your Choice Authorization letter containing the Authorization date and number.

    I’ve been to the ER several times because of complex partial seizures that mimic strokes and chest pain from spinal stenosis which mimics a heart attack. The only time I had to pay a bill was an urgent care visit that wasn’t to my PC and I didn’t call to get a faxed specific authorization for the visit.

  32. Here’s an interesting fact told to the wife and I last year!
    IF you have to go to the emergency room for anything, and your wife signs anything, she then gets stuck with the bill and visa versa!
    He, the attorney, said this. Yet, he didn’t explain what would happen if, say I was unconscious and the wife was present – could the hospital refuse to treat me if she didn’t sign anything?
    What happens in this case?

    1. I have never told them I have insurance through my work but they somehow found out and are now billing everything they can to them.

      1. F8f, I was told by the VA that they have a third party contractor they use to search out whether a veteran has insurance. I requested who it was and what personal information the VA gave this company, and got a letter back with that information.

        Once they had my information, they started billing every single visit to my insurance, while ignoring service connection.

        When I called them on it, the VA claimed it was a mistake, but then kept billing for service connected care. I eventually requested the billing information for every appointment for a 2 year period. It showed what the appointment was for, and why it was billed.

        Ultimately, the billing department admitted to wrongly billing my insurance over $12000 for service connected care.

        If they are billing your insurance for service connected care, contact the billing department.

        I suspect they will make lots of excuses.

        Or you can email Still In.

        Contacting the IG hotline is worthless. They only care about fraud if it’s costing some VA employee or director a possible bonus. Or if they think a vet is committing travel fraud.

      2. @91Veteran: Same here, billed Medicare, every single visit for service connected injuries. Every time I get a summary from my supplement insurance, there is always a duplicate charge. One from the VA, and one from the local VA clinic, that I have never stepped foot in. When questioned about this, they said “That’s because your PCP is on staff, at the clinic, and we have to pay for it somehow” can you believe that shit? Then followed up by the same excuse, “Oh it was a mistake”. Lying bastards!!!! More like SOP!!! Who the hell they think they’re kidding? I wonder how many veterans in the fiduciary program, don’t even know they are being charged? You think the VA would inform them? I don’t!!

      3. Dash dot, I seriously would like to know where that third party money goes to and how it’s used.

        I suspect their accounting for that money is as good as their accounting for how long a vet has to wait for care.

        Imagine all that off the books money. I also suspect they can report whatever they want to congress as to how much they collect…if they report it at all.

      4. @91Veteran: 91, this is cj. No clue where it goes. I know the first time I caught them illegally, billing my suplimental, (that I pay for), for my SC injuries, I searched online to see if anyone else was getting this. Plenty of others, have the same story. Mistake my ass, SOP for the VA. If you Google this problem, I especially like the story of the veteran, and the oxygen tanks. Shows just how corrupt the VA really is. Makes me wonder who’s​ cousin at the VA, owns the oxygen tank supply company.

      5. 91Veteran,

        The money collected from third party billing goes into a fund controlled by the facility that collected it. They are then able to spend that money however they choose to. With no Congressional oversight or reporting required.


        Source: New York Times

        “Deaths, Fraud Allegations and an Inquiry Into a Long Island V.A. Hospital”

        “According to a person familiar with the investigation, who was not authorized to speak and requested anonymity, they will also be asked about allegations of widespread fraud, including the collection of thousands of dollars in fees to care for veterans who were never actually treated.

        According to internal emails, and current and former employees familiar with the alleged scheme who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation, nurses were directed to make cold calls to veterans and then code those calls to look as though they had been solicited by the patient, not the practitioner, in order to enhance revenue.

        One former hospital employee likened the practice to your private physician calling you out of the blue to check up on you, then billing your insurance company for the call. The former employee, who asked to speak anonymously to avoid reprisal, said the practice was a means of padding the numbers.

        The goal of the calls, according to the internal emails, was to contact around 2,000 veterans and thus raise enough money by the end of the current fiscal year, Sept. 30, to patch a large hole in the hospital’s growing deficit, of more than $11 million.
        In all, the calls apparently generated roughly $1 million in payments for more than 200 veterans, according to the emails.

        A number of the nurses directed to make those calls appeared concerned about the activities, and a package of their email correspondence was turned over to the House Veterans Affairs’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. A copy was obtained independently by The Times.

        Instead of receiving overtime pay for the hours spent logging calls, which might have raised suspicions, the nurses earned comp time, according to the emails.

        One nurse wrote that the veterans were being used as “cash cows,” which the hospital administration wanted “to milk for $9 million.”

        The worth of each veteran in the scheme: $4,285.71.

        “Lots of questions that make me a little uneasy,” one nurse wrote. “What would be the best place to get accurate information on whether this is an ethical move?”

        Another email complained about the workload. “I also find it unfair to expect this amount of work on already overburdened nurses,” it said.

        A response read, “Notice how management is tracking the R.N.s and tallying their calls. This will no doubt be used to retaliate — keep track of that. Notice how only comp time is being issued vs overtime to hide any $ going to support said telephone encounter billing fraud.””

        “At another point the same nurse was even more blunt. “I would advise against engaging in this telephone billing fraud,” the nurse wrote. “Nothing has been put it writing and no written guidance/instructions have been disseminated to obfuscate the fraud.”

        Some of the nurses, on the other hand, boasted of their activities at a meeting of clinical service directors, proudly proclaiming the efforts to re-engage 2,000 patients and bring them back to Northport.

        When asked who had authorized the efforts, Walinda West, deputy director for media relations at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said only that it was a recommended practice for primary care teams “to follow up with patients who are due for care, or who have preventive care needs.”

        But according to the emails from the nurses, management was asking “clinical staff to make phone calls that count as appointments with NEW patients, to increase access.””

        Full article at: “”

      6. Thank you for posting that Seymore. It confirms my suspicions.

        I had read previously that it went to the facility, but this provides a much more detail…and confirms it is fraud.

        I also suspect veterans with insurance can get much faster care at the VA because that insurance can be milked.

        How many vets without insurance have to wait because the VA is too busy trying to squeeze every dollar they can out of others.

        I will copy the text of that article and reply back via email to the VAIG hotline, and to the House VAC.

      7. Hey 91Veteran,

        You said “I also suspect veterans with insurance can get much faster care at the VA because that insurance can be milked.”

        I would like to add to that the 500,000 Veterans who have been denied due process of their claims for Health Care due to no insurance.

        “Whistleblower Asks Trump To Fix VA Healthcare Backlog Purge Of 500,000 Claims”
        By Benjamin Krause –
        April 21, 2017

        Lets also not forget the 24,000 new claims being added each month that are being added to the new backlog due to the Hot Springs Call Center fiasco.

      8. They must know how much the private insurance pays out before the vet has to pay. I have already reached my max and now I am into me paying out of pocket. I have not used my private insurance on anything. The VA has used it all. That is another reason I am getting out of the VA HealthCare. I do not want to give them anymore money than they have already stole. They have received $3500 and I have an out of pocket max of $6,000. They will not get anymore of that after tomorrow.
        I also wonder why the Hematology doctor should get paid. I had to wait an hour and a half to be seen and then he saw me for five minutes. He came in, told me what he was going to do for his misdiagnosed problem, would not listen to anything I had to say and left. He got $220.01 from my private insurance. What a deal for him.

      9. @figure8fan: If they are charging you for service connected injuries, call and complain to billing and demand your insurance be reimbursed. I do it all the time, and ask for proof of reimbursement.

      10. This is sickness, whom ever started this at the VA should be fired or arrest.
        I had never thought about the possibility of this type of deception.

        The more veterans dig, the worse it gets !

        Just sickeningly. They call veterans crazy, they better look in the mirror.

        The one congressman or senator stated no one dies from lack of care !

        Were do all these brilliant people come from, where did they get their education. Or lack of.
        Some of these people could care less who lives or dies.

        Statements like this should be treason or someway assisting in genocide.

        Round them up and give them a dose of their own medicine.

        Let bubba administer the medication.

      11. @Seymore Klearly: Seymore, thank you, another fine of investigative reporting. Rat bastards every single one of them. VA, Russian hacks, and Me-me- Meshkin, if I was blindfolded I couldn’t tell the difference, who’s who.

  33. Any veteran who has a disability of 50% or more is entitled to have the VA pay for emergency room care. Just as any veteran who is rated 50% or more is entitled to ALL medical care free at the VA.

    I don’t know about having the VA listed as a first payee, but why would any veteran who uses the VA tell any hospital about any other insurance. In fact, I have heard that it is not a good idea to tell the Emergency room personal that you have insurance outside of VA Care because they will bill the insurance company first because it is easier to get insurance companies to pay than it is for VA to pay.

    I can tell you from experience if you tell any hospital you have medicare or any other insurance they will bill that insurance first, even if VA Choice referred you to the hospital. This happened to me and it took me months to clear up the mess.

    My understanding is that you are under no obligation to disclose your private insurance ( medicare/Tricare included) for emergency room treatment if you are entitled to VA Medical care, just make damn sure you notify the VA within 3 days or you will get stuck with the bill.

  34. Good article Ben. I am glad you are feeling better.

    A couple questions that might help clarify this for other veterans if you could answer.

    1. If a veteran goes to the ER even for non service connected conditions, shouldn’t they also notify VA?

    2. What is IRIS?

  35. I shattered my right ankle and went to the local ER. I gave them my VA ID and informed them that I had my healthcare through the VA. later the ER doc told me that after they had discussed this with “everyone” it was suggested I be sent to Harbor View Hospital in Seattle by ambulance . I thought that “everyone” included the VA as I informed the ER nurse that my healthcare was through the VA. Wow, was I sadly mistaken.
    After my three day stay, eight screws and a plate later, I was released. Later the bills started coming in. My total was over $66,000.00. I could not work, my recovery took over six months. I still have problems with the ankle to this day.
    I called the Puget Sound VAMC to ask about the bill and that is when I found out about the 72 hour notification to the VA. I was stuck with the bill. The person I talked to in the Fee Services told me that they would have sent me to Harbor View as they were not set up to handle something that bad (my foot was shoved forward and on the outside of my leg). I asked why they would not pay it if they were going to send me there? I was told because I did not notify the VAMC.
    I did have the VA do the follow up on my and they informed me to put 25% of my weight on it for a week and go up to 50% and so forth until I could put the full weight on it. I was being seen by a local podiatrist at the same time and she told me if I had done that I would have damaged my ankle severely. Guess who i believed?
    I have let everyone I know that is a vet to call within the 72 hour time limit or when you can call after you are stabilized. If you have something like a heart attack, the 72 hour limit can extended until you can call the VA.

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