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. Celeste Holloway    

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

  4. 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!)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 .

  8. 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…

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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!!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. Ken Smallcanyon    

    Just redressing the same old pig.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. Kevin    

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

  23. 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#

  24. Guy Shanklin    

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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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. 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.

  28. 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!!

  29. JRW    

    Tri-West is totally incompetent.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. Rodney Stamm    

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

  35. 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.

  36. 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

  37. 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!

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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!!

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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

  47. 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.

  48. 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

  49. Daniel    

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

  50. Susan Strickland    

    What about the caregiver portion?

  51. Renee Silvaroli    

    VA implementation by 6/2019!

  52. Renee Silvaroli    

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

  53. Michael Stephen McCarthy    

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

  54. 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

  55. 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.

  56. Charles Mitchell Lilly    

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

  57. Charles Mitchell Lilly    

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

  58. 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?

  59. Robert Bone    

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

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