VA MISSION Act: What is the latest on community care?

How VA is transforming Veteran community care under the VA MISSION Act of 2018 and what to expect.


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Note: This article is the second in a series on VA’s progress implementing the VA MISSION Act of 2018.

Last June, President Trump signed landmark legislation, known as the VA MISSION Act of 2018, that makes dramatic improvements to how Veterans receive community care—health care provided outside of VA. VA’s goal is to give Veterans greater choice over their health care, allowing VA to deliver world-class, seamless customer service either through a VA facility or community provider.

While the law affects many other VA programs, the changes to community care are among the most complex and far-reaching in recent history. After the legislation was enacted, VA immediately began taking the steps needed to implement the vast changes required.

Current Activities

Understanding the enormous scale of VA health care operations and VA’s responsibility for America’s Veterans, VA has been working hard on many large, interrelated tasks to implement the new Veteran community care program by June 2019. These tasks include the following:

  • Design and launch a new internal operating structure for community care, including the new urgent care/walk-in care benefit
  • Propose access standards as one of the six eligibility criteria for community care
    • VA’s proposed rules for the new Veterans community care program, including access standards, are currently open for public comment until March 25, 2019
  • Award contracts to Third Party Administrators (TPAs) to manage regions of VA’s new Community Care Network (CCN)
  • Plan to implement Veterans Care Agreements to allow VA to purchase hospital care, medical services, or extended care services in certain situations
  • Define competency standards for certain conditions applicable to community providers to make sure Veterans are getting high-quality care when they receive care outside of VA
  • Set up new requirements for prompt payments to community providers
  • Draft regulations to implement the law

What to Expect

So what can Veterans expect when the new program starts this summer? Given the magnitude of the changes, VA is working hard to make sure the rollout goes smoothly.  If you are a Veteran enrolled in VA health care, or a Veteran who can receive care without needing to enroll, you can expect:

  • To continue to have access to community care under current programs and then transition to the new program when regulations are final and published
  • To follow an improved process to receive community care under the new program, with better access to community providers and improvements to customer service, such as more streamlined eligibility requirements
  • A new benefit that provides eligible Veterans with access to urgent, non-emergency care for non-life-threatening conditions in VA’s network of community providers
  • Improved care coordination as VA transitions to a single information technology system that better links together VA and community providers
  • Your provider to receive timely payments for bills as VA transitions to better claims processing systems

Going Forward

VA will be providing regular updates on community care as part of this series of articles. Community care will continue to supplement VA health care as part of VA’s broad commitment to modernize and strengthen the VA health care system, expand access, and ensure timely delivery of care to America’s Veterans. VA health care regularly outperforms the private sector, and VA staff are experienced and devoted to meeting Veterans’ specific needs. VA believes Veterans will continue to choose VA when they need timely, high-quality care.

Resources

  • Fact Sheet – Veteran Community Care – General Information (VA MISSION Act of 2018)
  • VA’s proposed rules for Veteran community care now open for public comment

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Kenneth Stahlhut    

    Same happened to me two different times. Had to get congress woman help before VA would pay

  2. Genevieve Kee    

    I was in Las Vegas and they do not have an OB at the new Las Vegas VA which of the joke so I was turned party doubt to the choice program.. which was also a joke. I’ve signed at least 8 or wise however not of my information with ever sent back to the VA. Now I’m in the Florida Keys and have one vehicle between my husband and I. the doctor I was assigned to 400 be is over an hour away on the mainland however I have to drive my husband to work in the morning and order to use the car for appointment so innocent I’m in the car for 4 hours minimum just to go get lab work done when there’s a hospital 5 minutes away from me. now this shady doctor that I went to say once me to go to his buddy who is affiliated with the same hospital he is for some BS text that I don’t need because he know is the government will pay for it if I go and I just couldn’t drive 4 hours that day being 8 months pregnant. so I called my doctor let him know I wasn’t able to make it and now he’s telling me that he may have to drop me as a patient’s because I didn’t go to this other appointment. if you drops me as a patient there are no other obese in the area for me to even go to less than 65 mi away. So now what do I just have a baby in my car? the hospital here doesn’t do any maternity anything and I’m high risk and supposed to be having a c-section however I’ve only seen an OB doctor once in three different states and now the I was seeing it’s going to drop me because he hears government and thinks money. Good times.

  3. Anthony C. O'Day    

    Oh yeah, “Bone Spurs” Trump and his billionaire buddies are going to help out Vets—-Ha! Look around folks. The VA is a mismanaged mess but it exists and can be corrected. What the “billionaire draft dodgin’ flag waver” class is setting up is a dismantling of the system so it can be “privatized”. “Privatized” means the “billionaire draft dodgin’ flag waver” boys can profit off the injuries and pain they so cleverly avoided with draft dodgin’ lies like “bone spurs”, (or, how about Dick Cheneys “phantom baby boy,( he put “balls” on his lie….Ha! ). Glorious Leader Trump was the guy who said John McCain was no hero—He got caught! ( “Jesus Wept”.)
    Soon you’ll hear the new plan will give each Vet. a “voucher” each year along with Medicaid coverage. Of course, they’ll be hacking away at Medicade and “privatizing and vouching” it as fast as a dog can trot!
    From what I hear, the men changing the VA are the “Orange Blossoms” golf buddies in Mara Lagos. If they play with “Glorious Leader” one can assume they cheat too. My ol’ dad told me a man who lies is not a man, a man who lies is “Trash”. What do you think?.
    Let me suggest that a guy like Jeff Bezos ,(started Amazon), might be better suited to designing a VA that could quickly use “Amazon type software” to design a user friendly organization using the private sector along with a VA truly designed to help the veteran receive honest “payback” for putting his or her life on the line. Thanks, O’Day

  4. Celeste Holloway    

    So if you are already qualified for the Choice Program and using it, do you have to go through qualifying again?

  5. MYRA SUMMERVILLE    

    My husband gets comp for diabetes and everything that it causes including coronary artery diesease. He told the VA dr at a checkup he had been having chest pain. That dr didn’t listen to his heart,no testing of any kind. Looked at my husband told him “well it’s not your heart, buy you some otc antacids. Fast forward to 2 yr later 90% blockage 6 months apart with numerous stents also cardiac arrest. The right coronary artery is so weak he now has 100% blockage due to stenosis of the stents.And health is to poor for open heart.If that Dr had done is job can’t help but wonder if the arteries would’ve held up for stents at that time. When symptoms got worse I didn’t wait for the VA,got him to pcm on
    Medicare and tricare for life.She got him to a Local cardiologist, and nephrologist (due to chf,kidney failure).sorry this is a long post.

  6. TJ ONeil    

    Imagine you live in East Tennessee. It’s 5:30 in the morning and you have to be at the dialysis clinic by 6:30. Sharp. More than 15 minutes late and you get scolded and may not get a full treatment because they want that chair available promptly for the next patient. You had a pretty good day yesterday. Not too much achiness or shortness of breath, and you slept fairly well last night. You bolt down a light breakfast, get in your car, and are driven the 20 miles to the dialysis clinic you go to three times a week. You don’t drive yourself, because you may feel too sick after treatment to drive yourself home. The family member who is driving you had to decrease their work hours because of the need to drive you three times a week. As a result, your home finances —- strained to begin with —- are now even more stretched. You check in, and after a few minutes you are sitting in a recliner surrounded by other people like yourself with kidney failure. You have two one-eighth-inch-wide needles stuck in your left arm. Those needles are pulling a soft-drink can full of blood out of your body every minute, cleaning it, and returning it. You know that you will probably be going home with two bandages over the needle sites to prevent bleeding, feeling tired, nauseated, with muscle cramps, and a headache and you will have to lie down for a good part of the rest of the day to recuperate.
    Imagine doing that over and over. For the rest of your life. With no hope of getting off the treadmill. Worse, imagine you are an East Tennessee Veteran of limited means who served his Country faithfully and trusted what you thought were lifelong military health care promises and so you never got commercial health insurance or signed up for full Medicare.

    The reason you cannot get off dialysis is because you and your family lack means to travel multiple times over 300 miles to a VA transplant center in Nashville, Lexington Kentucky, or Birmingham Alabama, for transplant evaluation and if you are lucky, the surgery. That is because the VA is currently forbidden by law to use money under the CHOICE program as amended for the VA mission Act for kidney transplants at non-VA facilities without individual approval by the Secretary. And you can’t afford a transplant at the excellent UT transplant program at Knoxville only 100 miles away because you trusted the system and never got commercial health insurance or full Medicare.

    This sad current situation effectively condemns you and many other East Tennessee Veterans with only VA coverage who are potential kidney transplant recipients to dialysis forever. Or, until you die on dialysis.

    This needs to be changed. All Veterans should get a full and prompt pre-transplant evaluation at the nearest community kidney transplant program at a kidney function (eGFR) of 20. If you pass the evaluation, you should be listed, immediately. And, when the phone call comes “We have a kidney for you,” you and your family should not have to travel 300 or 400 miles to get that life-changing kidney transplant (often in the middle of the night or in bad weather, because that’s when donor kidneys frequently become available).

    Sadly, the CHOICE Act of 2017 would have made it that way, but it died in the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

    Urge you’re elected representatives to amend the VA Mission Act to make kidney transplantation what it should be—-a simpler and more equitable way to get Veterans off dialysis, improving their lives enormously (and saving the VHA $80,000-$85,000 per Veteran per year!)

  7. Dwight Perkins Sr    

    In 1969 I had gone to the V.A. Hospital in Saginaw , Michigan , was having problems , thinking it was my appendix ,,, was given a complete physical , found NOTHING wrong ,,, went to my regular Doc and he put me in the hospital same day , combination stomach ulcers / kidney infection ,,, had lots of problems with kidneys a few yrs after coming home , never did go back to the V.A. Hospital though . In 2017 , my wife encouraged me to go sign up (again) with the V.A. in Saginaw , so I did. Prior to attending , a former Service Officer told me where to go , whom to see , so I did . Everything went very well by following his advice . 51 Yrs have passed since I was eligible for the 5 Medals I received last year , and I filed a few claims with V.A. , about 5 of them turned down , 1 was granted with 10% rating and 1 was granted with 100% rating . I wish the former Service Officer was still with us today , so I could shake his hand and thank him for his advice , he passed away a few months ago . The only problem I have encountered since is trying to get an appointment with my current Service Officer @ the Hospital (V.A.) in Saginaw ,,, have called numerous times in the past two months , only to hear “We cannot take your call at this time , please call back again” , being that I am over 50 miles away , it’s not like I can be there everyday to see if I can get in to see my S.O. (I do not blame her , I blame the system) ,,, I have but one question I would like answered , “How the hell are we supposed to get an appointment with a Service Officer when you can’t even get someone on the phone to make that appointment for you”???

  8. George P Perasso    

    In my PTSD Group there is an ongoing conversation about whether or not dental is covered if you are rated at 100%. Can anyone give a definitive answer?

    1. Bobbie Jo McKinney    

      I am 100% and I get dental

      1. Genevieve Kee    

        Only if you’re 100% service connected for a mouth injiry

    2. Cindy    

      100%SC are entitled to full dental benefits; however, you must be permanently rated.

  9. Gordon Alkire    

    So many vets have not been told about the choice program. I am what is called a 40 miler. That means I have to go farther than 40 miles to get to the nearest VA Hospital.. I live close to Fort Riley KS but cannot use them as a vet. YET. I Now call the choice office and tell them what I need , I call my VA Dr get it in the computer and I go to the DR I want / need or to the service provider the VA recognizes and they pay for it. I have had no serious issues that could not be easily fixed.

  10. Karen Mackey    

    Keep on smiling my ass. Sure there have been some improvements over the years.. Pushed for by the Dam vets but now when the vets and yhe family’s need help it seems like no one wants to here it . Makes me sick.
    All of the service members showed up when this country needed them but now when those same service people need them where is this country NOWHERE TO BE FOUND .

  11. Paul Hensler    

    Are we all this dumb – Today is April 11 – The VA says – next appointment available June 5, 2019 – So they send me to an outside provider – next available June 19th. I just don’t get it.

    1. Cindy    

      Even community providers have delays with access…

  12. L. Riley    

    Wow so much for freedom of speech! I left a comment here yesterday and it wasn’t even posted!! Nothing derogatory or any slander. I was prescribed by my Primary Dr. a script for a certain amount of acupuncture treatments and Community Care decided to take it upon themselves to literally cut the treatments in 1/5th. Who are they to override a DR.’s Order/Prescription?? They do not know me and know what kind of treatment I need! Who gives them the right to decide what I need and to override a Dr’s order?

  13. David Bearden    

    I get care (somewhat) at the Tuskegee Alabama VA. I realize there are many great physicians and staff in the system including my clinic. However, there are others so incompetent or non caring that they almost completely overshadow our facility. I had a pcp who completely ignored my complaints of breathing difficulty for 3 years until I insisted on a spirometry test and found I had stage 3 copd. I found out about albuterol on a job and had to insist she give me a prescription. I had to fight to get to see an outside pulmonologist because VA didn’t have any. I qualified for choice because of distance but my pcp said it was up to the Dr. to decide if I got that privilege. They should change the name from Veteran’s choice to Doctors Choice. Anyway the pulmonologist immediately ordered 24/7 oxygen therapy for me. My pcp said she couldn’t help me get oxygen because I went outside the VA. Four months and many many phone calls and trips to the VA later, I finally contacted the right person in the VA and got oxygen the next day. After that, I spent 16 months over a charge for a ct scan from that first VA choice authorization with it ending in a collection agency filing it on my credit. The VA dept. that handles wrongful billing said I should never have been charged but they could not help me because the collection agency would not co-operate with them. I finally got help with a person at the outside hospital who got it removed from my credit. I put in for another pcp and got one but she disappeared after my first visit. My appointments were cancelled. They told me to do walk ins, no more appointments for the next 8 months until finally I complained enough and got assigned to another team. Meanwhile all my meds ran out and I couldn’t get an appointment for lab work or do a walk in at the lab. No refills of any meds without lab even blood pressure and cholesterol. I don’t know of any person outside the VA that has to put up with this kind of healthcare. I feel for vets that are in worse condition than I am.

  14. Geo Mars    

    Way, way, down the list so no one will read this but, I needed open heart surgery and the VA couldn’t get it done in a timely manor so they sent me to a local hospital. All went well however many people did not get the word that all bills needed to be sent to the VA so I got many bills addressed to me and it was very time consuming getting it straightened out. When the VA sends you out of system it needs to inform everyone: hospital, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and all the other dozens of people who want to sent the bill to the patient. I would think twice about using this system, just way to much aggravation and stress. Yes a system that causes stress on a sick person is not good. VA needs to fix this.

  15. akh    

    The only thing that will make VA great is to make VA national not regional. Both VAHC are 90+ miles from the house. I stay w/ John Cochran since my doc is fantastic. I can’t use the clinic since it’s not in the same region as STL. Insane system.

    1. Ray Peeler    

      agreed the VA has not changed they want to send me on a 300 mile round trip to get a consult for a VA doctor -they have known I have a kidney stone for 2 years now -they offered me a bus ride for the 300 mile trip-oh yea my wife is 100% disabled The VA still doesn’t look after veterans. Put us on the congressional health plan at least when we worked for the government we earned our money!!

  16. Marilyn Lucinda Peterson    

    I have been diagnosed with CHF I live in Idaho and live 160 miles from the Boise VA Medical Center. Not once have I seen a cardiologist only a PA in cardiology. All that is done is she takes my blood pressure and then tries to change my medications and it sent my blood pressure through the roof. I have requested to see a cardiologist closer to home but have been refused. The VA let me see one who comes to my town who I saw b4 , because at the time Boise VA didn’t have a cardiologist , I was in dire need of seeing one. I got charged $191 because he needed to see me for a follow up and by then Boise got their cardiologist (which I was not aware of) and I wasn’t told I couldn’t go back to him.

  17. Chester Sutton    

    I use the VA health facility in Butler,Pa and so far have not encountered any problems that I have seen on some comments. At 65,luckily, I am very healthy though and don’t need a lot of healthcare. I have received eyeglasses,hearing aids and the usual physical. I also use the gym and take a music class provided by the VA. Everyone has been wonderful and pleasant.

  18. warner    

    I see my replies have been deleted. I guess the moderators don’t want the truth about what is going on in Oregon to be public. Very serious problem in Salem Oregon as they have no doctors for over 800 veterans who are in line waiting for one. The VA medical center in Salem, Or. is closed to new patients. They cannot keep doctors from constantly quitting. If you apply for the Choice program you are denied because you live within 40 miles of a facility albeit totally unavailable to you including even if you are extremely ill. I know first hand as they turned me away. I think it is a huge injustice to let down our veterans that way. Anybody else gets a doctor or can use urgent care but here in Salem, Or we are screwed and nobody seems to care. I am going to continue to try to help us here where I live. I am sure there must be many areas in the country with the same problem of having a medical facility however you are not allowed to use it nor can you get community care. Congress at work. Let’s hope an honest effort is being made to do the right thing.
    There are many very nice people at the hospital up in Portland which is an hour away and they do a good job. I truly wish the best to you who are in dire need of some medical care but are unable to get help.

  19. Frank Dias    

    Wow, may God have mercy on us.

    Pray for the Doctors and nurses.

    1. Philip Esteban    

      Of course. I have a chronic back problem the VA will not fully acknowledge. Even the VFW service officer has become their advocate (not mine). Using the Veteran’s Choice program I’ve been able to manage the pain by going to the chiropractor once a week. Now the DCVAMC says that is unprecedented and will only authorize 12 visits per year. They want me to go back to the therapies that do not work. I was told they “decided” it was better for the veteran to go to their traditional therapies. Nothing is too good for the veteran, so nothing is what they get!

  20. John Turkal    

    I am in the Iron Mountain, MI Hospital service department. Truthfully going the 120 miles to Iron Mountain is worth it. Have a local clinic and receive good care. My wife uses local hospital and this week end had to go to Duluth for her. Truthfully if she could go to VA in Iron Mountain I believe she’d switch. She’s on her 4th Doctor in 5 years.

    1. Michael Griffith    

      I am lost for words for you brother, I will not say something worthless to you, but I will pray that the King of Kings sends messengers to your location and things get straightened out for you and all those who are needlessly standing in line, you deserve better and I pray in Yeshua’s name they it comes soon!!!

      1. Richard Smith    

        Amen to that, brother!

  21. Bobby Todd    

    Hines VA in Chicago is fantastic. They have treated me for a number of very serious issues over the last 10 years. I appreciate the caring medical professionals there and all they do. I live far enough away to use community care, but will not choose to do so. I waited in our local ER with my wife for four hours. I want no part of that. Thank you VA Hines and Joliet CBOC, where my VA Primary Care team treats me. I wish the The heal spur draft dodger would keep his nose out of the VA.

  22. Brian Haley    

    Anyone can throw stones at Trump Administration all they want. Choice came years before Trump. I give him credit for TRYING to improve a social program money pit that has NEVER been efficient or run properly. Good luck, Trump! It will be inefficient after he leaves and when we all die it will still be inefficient and underfunded (because there’s not enough money…ever for this bloated pig).
    A few things about Choice and Community Care:
    1) Choice did not pay for outside care.
    2) My few experiencees w/ Choice was a nightmare of ineptitude and extreme disorganization. Each ended up with no care.
    3) Community Care (CC) is a LITTLE bit more efficient, promises to pickup the tab for vets, but main problem is there is little room for vet appointments on the outside. Private medical participants are vetted, that’s why we can’t go just anywhere. And some private medical don’t like working with the VA and who can blame them? The VA is unorganized and often don’t pay their bills. A lot of available private sector facilities are booked up too.
    I recently got an an appointment through CC after 6 months!! In the first month CC kept in contact w/ me saying they were still waiting for an opening. After the first month I didn’t get from them anymore. After several months, and exhausting my avenues w/ VA, I emailed my congressman. Within days I got an appt. w/ a private clinic AND the VA! So I go to the private Dr appt and they don’t have any info from the VA on me. This appt was for a consult to read an upper IG X-ray report and propose a solution. They asked ME where were my medical records? I said, The VA didn’t send them? They said,no, it would take mono to get records from them. No one at the VA told me anything about bringing my records to them. So, I am going to see how the VA appt goes.

    This isn’t going to get better. No politician can fix it. It’s a Govt beauracracy. It’s socialism. Stop complaining. Get used to it. You can’t let it stress you out. None of us can afford to become more unhealthy over it. It’s not worth a heart attack or stroke. We should have hope and trust in something other than Govt.

  23. Wilson Perez Jr    

    Are you kidding? Anything to put TRUMP on it, and will not work. Most outside providers are overwhelmed and are not taking any new patients.I guess he’s experience is with paid ” Dr.s” who lied about bone spurs! I knew many that served with real spurs.

  24. Darrell McCurry    

    I had surgery through Community Care last week. This process took 2 weeks compared to the VA process 6 months!

    Med West didn’t help…system was broke! VA Community Care case worker was outstanding!

    Hang in there veterans!

  25. Ken Smallcanyon    

    Just redressing the same old pig.

  26. Darrell McCurry    

    I had knee surgery last week through Community Care after waiting 6 months on the VA. Med West dropped the ball 6 weeks ago of getting the date set…program was backed logged supposedly but my VA Community Care case worker set it up that day. I saw the Dr of my choice and surgery was the next day!

    The VA Dr told me from the beginning…Nov 18…he was not doing surgery. Now mind you this was my 4th surgery in a few years! So I played the “game” followed dr orders…take shots, therapy, etc until the shots wore off and the pain was worse than before.

    This is when I requested Community Care and was granted by the VA.

    We know some VA’s are good and some are bad. But I know this for a fact at my VA, if you go through the proper channels when things seem wrong, the right thing will happen. I have had several surgeries at the VA and have not had any serious issues with my treatment…guess I’m one of the lucky ones.

    My advice is to hang in there. Seek out the proper channels if needed. Remember, VA and VA employees truly want to do the right thing!

  27. W. Joseph Peterson    

    I’m a 15-year Veteran of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force (1963-1978). I’m also a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture who provides acupuncture services for Veterans at a reduced fee (for those who don’t go through the VA qualification program). The VA now offers “Battlefield Acupuncture” for Veterans, which is a great improvement over offering no acupuncture. That type of acupuncture, while helpful for reducing and/or managing pain, does not address all the issues that “regular” Traditional or Classic Acupuncture is able to address. It’s not my intent to “slam” Battlefield Acupuncture, because I think it’s a great development, and I use it in conjunction with my “regular” acupuncture. I encourage Veteran patients who come to me for my form of acupuncture to check with the VA and get “qualified” to receive my treatments. Some choose to pay up front rather than go through the qualification process with the VA. Most of them, however, can afford to pay. I was and am a registered provider for Veterans who go through the VA qualifying process. In the past the Veterans Choice program was slow to pay providers, and many providers stopped seeing Veterans under that program. As a result, many Veterans were unable to receive medical treatment from Community Healthcare Providers. As a Veteran, I refused to not see Veterans who needed my type of medical care, despite not getting paid by the Veterans Choice Program for inordinate amounts of time, which, in some cases were 4-6 months, and only after I wrote my U.S. Congressional Representative and the OIG. Eventually, and I’m not clear on the reason, Veterans Choice lost the contract, and the Community Care Program went through many iterations before it arrived to where it is today (and I’m not sure where that is!). I’ve now been waiting 6 months to get paid for treatments provided to one of my Veteran patients (who found relief from pain), and it seems that her records of my treatments have been lost. I’ve been asked by a VA representative to resubmit the claims and treatment notes. As it stands now, I’m writing to my Congressman and the OIG again to see if I can “get the ball rolling” again to get reimbursed for my services. My concern in all this mess is that the Veterans, who are unable to receive necessary treatments from Community Providers or the VA, are the ones who end up suffering the most (Yes, we providers can’t always pay our bills either, as a result). Enough said… I wanted to provide another prospective; I hope I’ve succeeded in doing so… Doctor (and former Navy Lt.) W. Joseph Peterson, AP, DOM

  28. RT Thomas    

    I was very happy with the care I received at my local VA hospital. However, after having more provider changes than I can remember, I finally received one who made it plain he did not like the care I had received for 10 years at the VA. He decided WITHOUT MY INPUT to terminate the care I had been receiving and I feel he tried to force me into surgery. I also brought several other health issues to this doctor and most were ignored, leaving me to seek outside care from my wife’s doctor.

    When I asked for a change in providers, I was denied and the letter said that the primary care team was extremely important, vital to the care of the patient. However, after all the people who have come and gone from my team, it seems the only person important to my care is me. I don’t understand who another doctor could not look at my records (isn’t that part of the reason they keep them?) and speak with me to provide care.

    I asked for an outside opinion and, after fighting for almost a year, was finally given a letter to serve as a referral. The entire situation made me change my opinion from not believing community care would be in my best interest to feeling it would be.

  29. Carl Bracey    

    Just before my VA appointment last January, they told me the appointment was canceled and they would be giving me a Community Care appointment. I had to call several times to finally get an appointment for April.

    Also I was supposed to tell them what place they should refer me to.

  30. Thomas Johnson    

    I live in northwest Kansas my closest VA clinic is in Burlington CO. It is over an hour away, the nearest major VA facility is in Denver CO. Which is 3 1/2 hours away,we go there for oncology as I’m 1 year into remission. The clinic in Burlington is a joke I can’t get any lab results and the DR. is not one to listen to what your going through. I had a reaction to statin drugs for the second time he told me it was a pinched nerve in my neck…three months later now he calls it joint pain. Try to get your lab results, took me three months and a call to the patient advocate then things started to roll. Pure Bullshit no one should have to deal with this kinda crap.

    Thomas Johnson 100% disabled Vietnam era vet.

  31. Kevin    

    That was a lot of nothing stated. Any particulars about how this program is going to be better?

  32. Ellen T McCarthy    

    I find the outside care a total JOKE because the bill doesn’t get paid. They send the bills to a collection agency which in turn screw your credit. It took me over a year to get the bills paid and to have my credit restored. Also, I just had a major knee revision for my service connected knee and DUMPED off at my house unattended at day 6 of having my surgery. I wasn’t granted Rehab @ the VA unless I went Private and pay for it through Medicare — 80% and I’m suppose to pay 20% of the bill when I’m 100% service connected. I had to fend for myself and fought for almost two months to get help. The Social Workers were a joke. Now that I’m close to 3 months post op my knee doesn’t function correctly — Totally swollen and inflamed. I had to ditch my crutches on day 6 so I could cook, clean, etc and be in excruciating pain with no one stepping up to help. I live alone and this is the first time I’ve been treated like GARBAGE by anyone. When I finally got help they can’t even help with the cleaning. The Social Worker said “It’s my responsibility and to hire a MAID”… Who’s going to pay for that?

    1. Cindy    

      There is a new program called Veteran Directed Care that is not available in all locations yet, but may be in yours. You can find more information about it (and determine your eligibility) at the following link: https://www.va.gov/geriatrics/guide/longtermcare/veteran-directed_care.asp#

  33. Leonard M Smith    

    First I would like to thank the V.A. for sending e-mail that informs us that a deadline for comment two and a half weeks after the deadline for comment has passed. If this attention to detail is and example of V.A. administrative competency, Its scary.

    live in a remote community that has limited health care. The nearest V.A. hospital is 146 miles one way The only recourse that I have for anything even remotely is the V.A. clinic 26 miles away

    I fall under the Roseberg V.A. jurisdiction. They have set down a set of guidelines governing the length of time Doctors and Nurses are authorized to spend on each patient. Doctors are required to see 13 patients a day which does not allow them time to properly chart their examinations. Nurses are only allowed thirty minutes per patient to perform procedures on each patient. This is due to the stupidity of Roseburg trying to pooch their numbers to look good for Washington.

    Recently the “local” V.A. clinic got a new nurse/supervisor.

    I suffer from COPD, emphysema, type two diabetes, psoriasis, hypertension and, hypoglycemia. I also have to have my legs wrapped in a pro four bandage weekly. The nurse/supervisor immediately tried sending me out into community care claiming the the leg procedure took the nurse 90 minutes to perform thereby skewing her “numbers” and incurring the wrath of Roseburg. In trying to get me on community care, she lied to me that the local hospital had “home care” where a home care nurse would apply the bandages to my legs. In actuality, as soon as the home care group found out that I was ambulatory, they refused to treat me as their policy was not to treat ambulatory patients with home care. the person providing in house care was an incompetent that would come to the hospital when I was admitted and refused to apply the proper bandage to my legs.

    In actuality, the procedure only takes 40 minutes to perform The nurse uses approximately 15 minutes taking my history on the other issues I have for the Doctors review.

    What this all leads to is that for the most part; I receive better treatment with V.A. facilities than I do in the “community”,.

  34. Guy Shanklin    

    What about the blue water navy. They just put us under the BUS.

  35. Bruce w marchetta    

    With all due respect, much to much to read of these comments. I think the comments are between the commentators and I don’t know what that is suppose to accomplish if any thing. I would hopefully suggest that commentators would send their opinions or other to their government representatives. Everyone who has any concerns or suggestions should be doing this! I’m I wrong? You decide, positive constructive suggestions are welcomed. Mr. Bruce 82 yrs old. Navy Korean veteran.

  36. Kelly mckearney    

    But will they pay? I was approved by choice for procedures in outside facilities and thus far have refused to pay for numerous reasons, like wrong codes, can’t be submitted digitally but hard copy paper, wrong font (believe that? The wrong size font!) we are waiting for their next excuse. One facility billed Medicare because they were unable to contact the VA choice and then sent those bills to collections so I have a debt collector threatening my credit. I’ve tryed to contact VA choice many times. Always an answering machine and nobody ever returns the calls. Stopped by their office once when I was at the VA hospital and there was nobody there.
    So it all sounds great but they won’t pay so where does that leave us? Broke with no credit. Or I could continue having my surgeries done at the VA, I can tell you the surgeries I have had there yielded poor results and the surgeons where not professional or even nice and did poor work.
    VA choice is just another branch of the government that sees vets as an annoyance that should just go away and will do anything to make us do just that.

  37. Paul Philbrick    

    All my comments were removed by government censors calling themselves moderators. This moderation is designed to keep any authentic truth about how this long psychobabble about how the Government is going to start treating disabled veterans when they are stripping readiness and housing funds from active duty troops to build a vanity wall on the southern border is just more of the same. The VA will be able to treat every condition, on time, with the latest medications and specialists., There will never be a Director who will admit otherwise and authorize outside care. If you don’t understand this, you must have been discharged last month. Sorry.

  38. Mary Shoudel    

    My husband and I are both vets (Army and Air Force) and use the VA hospital in Fort Wayne, IN for our health care. We are mostly pleased with our experiences there as they are always working to improve not only the building but also the way things are done. We used both the Choice and now TriWest programs and have appreciated the fact that both were offered. Our hats are off to those responsible for the changes and thank the powers that be for all those who care for and about us vets.

  39. Winston Smith    

    I must respectfully disagree with most of your comments. I think it’s great you, and every Veteran you know, are getting “exceptional” care through the VA health care system. Myself, and the Veterans I know and talk with, are also getting exceptional care through the VA health care system – exception to every standard of patient care practiced by medical facilities outside the VA. In other words, thank you government for the previous Choice program (as a means to get away from the VA) and now Community Care. As for the former Choice program being reinstated, I’m sorry, but that is just laughable. The Choice program was one of the biggest CF’s the government & VA ever came up with; a complete, total and utterly dismal failure, by any and all standards.The VA health care system does need a LOT of improvement. Thankfully, that is in the process of happening. One of the ways the VA can help itself improve quality of care is to give Veterans a choice through a great Community Care program.

  40. Daniel Cusimano    

    I would rather go into a ugly looking bldg with plastic chairs then to go to a outside doctor. I UNDERSTAND THIUGH YOU CANT SOLVE EVERYONES PROPLEMS. I MADE A TERRIBLE MOVE TO THE PHILIPPINES. NOW HAVING SO MANY
    PROBLEMS THAT BECAME WORSE BAD SPINE BAD HEART CANT HATDLY WALK I WAS FORCED TO GO TO THE VA IN MANILA UNDER TREAT that they wouldn’t give me anymore medication if I didn’t go there the trip
    Was a horror besides I have to take a plane can’t travel alone had to pay everything and they say the don’t have a prosthetic department anymore no wheel wheel
    Chair. Nothing. I’m totally SCREWED. I CANT EVEN GO HOME. WHICH I DONT WANT TO DIE HERE OUTSIDE MY COUNTRY

    1. Lloyd E Brady    

      I’m a disabled veteran and my name iss Lloyd Brady i live in North Carolina i am 30% and i can’t get help because i have asked everyone but i am not homeless but i am the landlord will not fix anything not the heat..the floors but me and my family r ok but i thought the Va would help disabled veterans but i was wrong so God bless you

    2. Judy wedt    

      According to Dr (redacted) at Over at the overtime Brooks VA they don’t have to send them to anywhere when I begged him to send my husband out for quality care he told me it was the VA or no way. He didn’t send my husband. He was responsible for killing my husband. He died of an infection from them. A hero’s blood is on Dr (redacted)’s hands.

  41. Patrick J Riley    

    This Community Care is a joke. I was sent to a Medical Center by the VA and still after two months, I STILL don’t have the prothstetic for my foot. The VA blames the Medical Center and the Medical Center blames the VA. AND THE MEDICAL CENTER IS BUGGING ME TO PAY THE BILL!!

  42. JRW    

    Tri-West is totally incompetent.

  43. Walt Copenhaver    

    Yo, Robert Forr. I live in Iowa Falls, too and have been using Hansen for all my treatments for the past few years. Best small town clinic and hospital I’ve ever ran across after 35 years in California. Thanks for your effort on this.

    1. Mrtimner snerd    

      Are you out of your mind. Open that can of worms and we’ll lose what little V.A. benefits we have. The mission of the Trump is to eventually do away with any and all benefits to Veterans in order to carry out his mission of tax abatement for his cronies.

      1. Robert Vaughn    

        Snerd…. Bullcrap! Are you just being a hack? You are way off base and full of it. So much so that I bet your eyes are brown.

  44. Stan    

    Put Veterans on Medicare then they can see who they want and when.

    1. Cliff    

      All VA care should be outsourced to anywhere the veteran wants to go for care, and transition VA into strictly administrative; eliminating sub standard care and open to free market. Blue cards = Medical Card with no co-pay.

      1. Ken Smallcanyon    

        This program still only allows you to go see who they have on their list after your PCT approves your request for outside care. Only if No VA CLinic is located with a fee miles and that’s Zipcode to Zipcode and if there is no Hospital within 60 miles or one hour drive.

      2. Bob rhode    

        Nuts, check it out, try to get in to see a doctor using medicare. Most docs in northern ill all have signs stating “No mew medicare patients will be sern in this office”

      3. warner    

        Cliff, You are exactly right. I totally agree. It’s very likely the government will save money doing it that way. Stan’s idea is a good one also. If one googles VA health care problems you will find some interesting reading. Fortunately I believe there are some positive improvements coming but we will see what is actually going to happen in two months.

  45. Amy Paswualini    

    A lot of words, for what you call a “simplified, streamlined process”. I still don’t understand why 100% Disabled Vets arent given a card, and allowed medical/dental/mental health care anywhere they want to go. It would make it so much easier to get any and all care in their communities.

    1. Ken Smallcanyon    

      Because that would make too much sense. A Medicare V card should be given to all Veterans and copay should coincide with disability percentages ie 100% disabled vets should have Zero copay and it should include 100% prescription, vision, mental health, and dental coverage. 90 % disability = 10% copayment on and on… but this won’t happen because it makes to much sense to do. That was John McCain’s vision when I last spoke to him in Phoenix…

      1. Michael Griffith    

        I like that idea of your disability rating dictates your copay, great idea!!

    2. Joseph Selvaggi    

      There should not be different levels of eligibility for vets. I was drafted in 68 and joined USAF did 4yrs. I fully expected to go overseas like all of us, but didn’t. Yet the VA classifies no theater with less coverage
      Punishing vets that did the right thing for God & Country with no control of where or when we went ..IS WRONG

  46. John Spitzberg    

    If it is too good to be true, don’t buy into it. The new Mission Act aims to privatize the VA ultimately and make us (Veterans) part of a scheme to enrich the private corporations, medical field and make us, the Veterans like products on a Walmart shelf. I say fund the VA. Encourage doctors, nurses, techs, social workers, etc. to go to Federal Government funded schools for their training and then demand that the graduates work for the VA for five years to pay back their loans through working them off.
    Too many Veterans get bills from private doctors because Tri West and others are not paying the bills in a timely fashion. This is what will happen on a grand scale if the Mission Act is put into play. Again if it’s too good to be true, then its a lie. Beware fellow Veterans. John Spitzberg, Veterans For Peace

  47. Madeline Boyd    

    To travel to another state and more than 40 miles is very difficult for me to make, yet Charleston denies me approval to receive pain procedures. I cant travel long distance due to back problems and it causes extreme pain sitting that long. I need to know why I have to go out of home station for treatment that allows me to beable to have whatever normal life.

  48. Patrick Eisenhart    

    Looks like the Mission Act is going to change for us. I fail to see why older veterans would be happy with the Mission Act provision to extend VA pension reductions for Medicare-covered veterans in nursing homes or why sick and/or disabled vets, upstate, should be happy with elimination of the Choice program and now required to make a co-payment after two visits to a non-VA health care provider.
    The VA Health Care I have received needs no improvement. Therefore, I see no basis for the passage of the Mission Act passed on June 6th of this year without much input from me or my fellow veterans.
    As matter of fact, it is my understanding that my fellow veterans filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to stop the Trump administration from unlawfull and unprecedented outsourcing veterans’ policy to Mar-a-Lago Club members who met in at least 25 secret closed doors meetings to shape future veterans’ health care.
    Will Fischer, Iraq War Veteran and Director of Government Relations for VoteVets. “It’s not just insulting that veterans were forced to sue the Trump administration to have a voice in its veterans’ policies, it’s dangerous, because we don’t know what other private interests may be affecting life and death decisions of veterans, under the shroud of darkness.”
    Since President Trump took office, the Mar-a-Lago Council — consisting of Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, Palm Beach concierge doctor Bruce Moskowitz, and Marc Sherman, a private lawyer — have wielded unprecedented influence over the Administration’s decisions. Through at least 25 meetings and conference calls with senior VA officials, including private meetings held inside the Mar-a-Lago Club, the Council has shaped the Trump Administration’s veteran’s policy despite having no government or U.S. military experience.
    The Council’s existence partially explains other scandals that have rocked the VA during the Trump Administration, including the firing of Secretary David Shulkin by tweet and the Administration’s broader push for privatization of critical VA health care services.
    https://www.votevets.org/press/veterans-group-sues-trump-administration-for-unlawfully-outsourcing-veterans-policy-to-mar-a-lago-club-members
    It seems clear to me that Trump administration is taking direct control of the Veterans Administration health care by establishes new bureaucracies to include: (1) the Center for Innovation for Care and Payment, and (2) the Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission without naming who would serve on those boards and how much the added bureaucracy would cost or how much say they would have in establishing health care deductibles or fees non-VA health care providers could charge.
    The Mission Act appears to be taking the first steps in privatizing our care with the establishment of the Veterans Community Care Program to furnish hospital care, medical services, and extended care services through certain non-VA providers to veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system or otherwise entitled to VA care.
    In summary, I am very disappointed with the Missions Act and the way it was conceived. My recommendations:
    • Lobby legislators to keep the Choice Program
    • Lobby to rescind the Mission Act or At Least Keep Elected Official Informed
    • Limit referrals to non-VA health care facilities as necessary.
    • Recruit veteran ombudsmen to review non-VA health care
    Based upon my own observations and that of every veteran I know, the current VA health care we are receiving needs no transformation to any better “easy and reliable care”. We already receive exceptional care by trusting, caring partners who do not get the credit and adulation they deserve.
    Thank you for inviting me to provide input into this most crucial matter.

    1. Kelly mckearney    

      Are you kidding me? What plant are you from? Why don’t you come to Vermont and have a few surgeries there then tell me how great they are. And stop off in the Boston VA hospital and let me know how that goes. I think your just another troll making trouble.

      1. Cindy    

        You don’t even know what the changes are because the program has not been rolled out yet (and isn’t due to roll out until June 2019). You are an egocentric idiot. Our president is doing SO MUCH to improve the services we receive.

    2. james stanley    

      I agree with this post, because I get very good health at my local va hospital. but what about those who live in tiny towns all over the us. shouldn’t they be allowed to go wherever they want??? or need. one thing I know is the va needs to step up on paying the outside providers in a reasonable amount of time. on one of my outside dr. it took 4+ months for them to get paid.no wonder outside dr wont accept va patients.

    3. Robert Christian    

      Another anti-Trumper heard from. Stop whining, we had to put up with O’bozo for 8 years and he completely screwed the Vets, at least DT is TRYING to improve things.

  49. Rodney Stamm    

    All the fancy program names and publicity, but when it comes right down to making anything easier or better…………no such luck!!!

  50. Arnold Cabral    

    Rise and Shine Veterans even tell your friends they have to Veteran email your Senators or Representative contract the Veteran Affairs Committee passed a new Veteran Benefits Law hired a Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist G4 implants or have a contract with Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist G4 implants.

  51. Ira Nolan Jr    

    I need more information on the new medical care act It is too Far to ride To the VA medical center in Columbus, Ohio. Because we have to leave Zanesville at 6 o’clock just to get over there by 730 To make air 8 o’clock appointments Thank you

  52. Richard Rubio    

    I have experienced the many improvements the VA has made over the years. It was difficult and tiresome at first coordinating the “choice program ” issues between the VA, Triwest, and the community doctors. I had to be extremely proactive! Now as a 70 year old diabled Vietnam vet I don’t have the same energy. It is welcomed news that it will all be improving. Hopefully!

  53. Ron Lent    

    how does it work your go to a hospital emergency room within 40 miles without a va hospital u have medicare then u get a bill saying you owe the hospital 1340 dollars for payment how does that help the vet.

  54. Edward P Yarnell    

    What compensation is planned for Family or others who care for the Veterans in their homes?

    1. Judy wedt    

      None. They don’t give a damn.

  55. Steven Galon    

    WE ALL MUST UNDERSTAND THE ENORMOUS TASK THAT THESE CAREGIVERS MUST FACE EVERY DAY! THEY ALL MUST FOLLOW A CERTAIN PROTOCOL THAT THE GOVT. HAS SET FORTH. THEREFORE IT COULD CAUSE DELAYS, UNTIMELY APPTS.AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES! I FOR ONE BELIEVE THAT THE V.A. HAS COME A LONG WAYS IN THEIR EFFORTS TO ACCOMMODATE US VETERANS! WE MUST BE PATIENT AND FOLLOW THE COURSE. AS WE DID WHEN WE WERE ENLISTED! KEEP ON SMILING!!

  56. Randolph Lake    

    I have been using the VA Portland,Or. Health Care System for about 4 years since retirement. It is a large government run operation and can seam hard to maneuver. But it comes down to the people that work their. I live in Hillsboro Or. about 20 mi. west of Portland and go to the Hillsboro Clinic to see my Primary Care Doctor. For any procedures I may need I go to the Portland Medical Center. The employees and staff at both VA locations have always been very professional, respectful, courteous and focused on my needs. I have never sat in the waiting room for more than 15 min. The only frustrating thing that becomes apparent right away is the VA has difficulty getting to the problem or problem solving in a timely manner. Instead of just fixing the problem they have to walk around it 2 or 3 times to make it happen. This is because of all the obstacles the bureaucracy has put in place over many years and not the doctors or staff. I have figured out you have to be assertive and advocate for your self and know what you want from the VA.
    May be the service is available, but the VA should have professional advocates available for older vets who need help maneuvering the system. All in all I like my VA facility. I would bet it’s better than any other Veterans health care program outside the United States.

  57. unnysac    

    I was discharged from the Navy Nov. 1964, I was informed that my Navy Exploratory military medals for the Cuban missile blockade and Vietnam would be mailed to me, that never happened. I served aboard the USS Gunston Hall LSD 5 between 1961 to 1964. I think it is a shame because there were other things I did to save the Gunnysack money in the yards.

  58. Richard Simmons    

    The VA in Louisville is 75 years old and sits on unstable ground. A new hospital was approved 5 years ago land bought but still waiting to break ground. What up if this was a private hospital it would have been condemned 30 years ago
    Does the VA not have to follow the ADA.

  59. Howard L Grant    

    Having found I have AML-MDS(LEUKEMIA) the Drs at the VA referred me to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Subsequently I needed a bone marrow transplant which meant I’d have to go to Nashville, TN for treatment, based on protocol from the VA. I live in south Florida, I had no other option. Now with the updated Choice program I don’t have to move, I can continue to use Sylvester for my treatment (transplant).

    1. Cathy Connolly    

      My husband is in need of a liver transplant, like you they want him to have it done in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, we also live in South Florida, what process or how do we go about getting his transplant done here in South Florida, he is 100% disabled veteran with 2 Purple Hearts, please help if you can

  60. James Tobleck    

    You censured again, proves your corrupt as we VETS all know. New law same bullshit hospitals, Administrators. Delays,just to keep your bonuses your killing me . Seems fair eye for an eye.

  61. James Tobleck    

    Bull sht ,John Dingell VA in Detroit is a zero star death camp that both my VA doctors said to never allow them to butcher me there.43 years of Battle Creek morons delaying my knees replacement. Now they gave me blood poisoning due to a 4 year delay in dental for one tooth! Obviously the wrong people are dieing in the parking lots outside the hospitals. VA destroyed my life, my sons and lost j homes 3 wifes due to numerous bankruptcy. All started with a drunk disability exam doctor 43 years ago. I simply hope for justice, i know the IG is just as worthless.

  62. kenneth s Rheault    

    What about vets overseas and retired outside the United States we already have to pay as of Feb 2019 for or overnight
    stays and travel expenses when were sent to V.A appointments, as most of the time Vietnam vets are low priority some
    times I fell that we or just a burden and V.A just would like us old timers to fad away.so that can put our files inactive.and
    just cut the work load.

  63. Ricardo Lugo Ramos    

    I thank God first, US federal government and are nation for assessing the needs of every veterans and their family. In behalf of those Veterans soldier that responsibly responded to the call of national and global defense and stability. The Lord spirit of braveness given to are soldier in all time; the home of the brave.

    Forever gratefully; SSGT Ricardo Lugo Gulf Vet. Era.

      1. Danny petty    

        With the intruduction of TRI-WEST to make appointments for the Choice pragram it has introduces major delays in getting care through the chose program

  64. Daniel Santos    

    As so is an all expanded words of rambling and no meaning. I have been using the Phoenix VA care system for years and for years have had to argue, demonstrate, provide proof and fight with the many PCP’s just to receive my years of approved, diagnostic reports care. The many PCP’S due to the fact that they would not look at my medical records and provide my medication. Why do I have to talk to the clinic director just for my care, because his NP’s, PA’s and doctors can’t read my problem list or the many many pages of reports. What a shame this continues and we the veterans are the targets.

  65. ROBERT FORR    

    Here is an accomplishment you can report on. After 10 months of effort with the hospital Director and it’s board of director President, as well as the VA office in DesMoines, IA, I finally accomplished getting the Hansen Family Hospital (HFH) in Iowa Falls, IA to participate in the VA Mission Act, Choice program. Previously, they did NOT participate in the Choice program for Veterans in Iowa Falls. Now, this will benefit approx. 1,100 veterans in Hardin County, IA. The local paper, Times Citizen, published a feature story about the accomplishment, this month…March, 2019.

    Bob Forr forr1948@gmail.com
    Vietnam Veteran.
    515-505-9855

  66. Daniel    

    Sounds great. It has been long time coming. Hope it works as great as it sounds. Thanks from a grateful Veteran.3

  67. Susan Strickland    

    What about the caregiver portion?

  68. Renee Silvaroli    

    VA implementation by 6/2019!

  69. Renee Silvaroli    

    Latest from va.gov! Changes to implement this summer 2019!

  70. Michael Stephen McCarthy    

    Thanks for the update on health care for veterans. I will watch for more updates also.

  71. David Dickerson    

    time for our president Donald Trump god on your side . veteran wounded warrior and other group maintain owe they shopping mall god love reachihing to hour soldiers and hour vetean looking good president Deuteronomy chapter 28blessing
    David Dickerson cell (redacted) meet open use the platform god giving you telethon channel 13

  72. Jerry Barbee    

    I don’t see anything about new expanded requirements for caregivers?
    I am a disabled veteran with 2. 100% disabilities with about 7 other lower rated disabilities. Some of my 100% disabilities happens prior to 1975 but I was allowed to stay on active duty until I was medically retired just short of my 20th year in service. Can you tell me what catagory I will be placed in for this new care giver benifit.

    1. Eileen Young    

      From what we were told WWII and Vietnam will be the first wave once launched. They are looking at another year yet. Got this from them directly this afternoon.

  73. Charles Mitchell Lilly    

    Over 16,000 Veterans have committed suicide in 2 years,don’t you thing THAT is a NATIONAL EMERGENCY???

    1. Ron Hall    

      Suicides are collateral damage that the public or media are not willing to acknowledge!!

  74. Charles Mitchell Lilly    

    Over 16,000 Veterans have committed suicide in 2 years,don’t you thing THAT is a NATIONAL EMERGENCY???

  75. Pam Bell    

    I am a female veteran and I go to the Pensacola, Fl VA. Right now half of the VA is not operational as they cannot keep qualified help. What are you going to do about that?

  76. Jerry w. Beaman    

    It’s great that the president has signed such an act,but there is no doctors shorthand an opt,.They don’t want to do anything for you,it seems there out there for an free ride ,also there is not enough doctors out there that is sign up for va , I been waiting for over an month.

  77. Robert Bone    

    I live in Reno Nevada, is there a list of approved care givers available?

    1. Shannon Baer    

      Your VA medical facility can find a community provider for you, or you can select one. Check with your VA medical facility to make sure the one you select is part of VA’s network. If you are getting care through the Veterans Choice Program, you can use the Veterans Choice Locator online at https://www.va.gov/opa/apps/locator/ to find a community provider.

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