The Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center is returning on 14 June 2017 to conduct its third Community Town Hall in the area since the establishment of the quarterly requirement a couple of years back. It is part of an attempt by the VA to regain the trust among the veterans it serves. Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center services 19 counties, to include one in New York. The service area requires distributing the quarterly meetings over a wide area or we would have more of these useful events. For details, see: Read the rest of this entry »
The Veterans Choice Program has been beset with problems. While the program is actually improving, a phone scam has now occurred to add to the VA’s and clients’ frustrations with the program. Someone is after your credit card number. Why would the VA be asking that?
See below. One key thing to remember is that while many VA numbers start with 1-800, not all do, and the Veterans Choice Program is one of them — it uses a 1-866 prefix.
What was not mentioned is Alexander Alex, the co-chair of our Healthcare in Our Community initiative, pressed for a health delivery system similar to TRICARE, the Department of Defense healthcare system. See also yesterday’s blog article on the extension of the Veterans Choice program.
As of 14 April 2017
Forward Observer — President Trump signs S. 544, The Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement ActApril 20, 2017
Yesterday, the President signed Senate Bill 544 into law. It extended and amended the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014. Otherwise, the controversial Veterans Choice (Card) Program would have expired in August, although $1 billion of the original $10 billion remained in the account and the number of veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system using private care, under VA direction, had risen from approximately 10 to 33 percent. Essentially, the bill was a no-brain’er, as no doubt the good senator from Montana, Jon Tester (D), would himself admit. It was not a remarkable feat on the part of the Congress or the President — or the VA. Read the rest of this entry »
LVMAC Tidbit — VA’s new online tool helps Veterans make informed health care decision: VAntage PointApril 14, 2017
This is a step forward which local health networks might want to emulate. They should at least participate.
Regardless of the controversy which stimulated it, such willingness on the part of the VA to be transparent should prove useful to toward improving the quality of and the understanding of the state of healthcare, if the effort fulfills its promise. It is a brave step on their part.
Here is a rhetorical question: would private sector healthcare have similar or worse problems, if it were held to the same standards and expectations that veterans ask of its VA? Such user-oriented, tools might help all.
Click here to go directly to the tool itself.
As of 12 April 2017
S.544, a bill to amend the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to modify the termination date for the Veterans Choice Program, and for other purposes, headed to the President for signature on 7 April. This was relatively easy to do as the there was still $1 billion in the account.
As of 10 April 2017