VA tests partnership with CVS to reduce veterans' wait times

20 April, 2017, 08:50 | Author: Michele Stevens
  • VA tests partnership with CVS to reduce veterans' wait times

Florida's governor is meeting with President Donald Trump to sign a bill aimed at veterans.

Veterans Choice is created to allow veterans who have waited more than 30 days for an appointment at a VA facility, or who live more than 40 miles from one, instead to get care from private providers who then bill the VA. The Choice program pays for private-sector health care for veterans and was set to expire in August, but the VA and some of the program's harshest critics in Congress have agreed to extend it, with a few changes, until January.

However, because the 2014 legislation was authorized and funded by emergency measures, a sunset provision was added, so the VA had prepared to restrict medical services in the program beyond the August 2017 termination date.

"You got it? The doctor of their choice", he repeated for emphasis.

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Trump is expected to dedicate a White House press conference to veterans issues next week.

Shulkin said the extension is important because it gives veterans another avenue for care. "The doctor of their choice - and don't have to wait and travel long distances for VA care", Trump said of the bill Wednesday. This represents millions of appointments that would have otherwise lagged in the VA's scheduling system for everything from routine check-ups and diagnostic tests to life saving heart and cancer treatment. Lucas said the Choice Program was a well-intentioned "quick fix" to the Phoenix scandal, but that it remains flawed and has forced too many veterans to seek care at what he termed failing VA facilities.

The Choice program allows some veterans to apply their federal health benefits for care in the private sector, ABC News reported. "It's too complex; it's too hard to use, so we're working hard now with Congress to redesign an improved way of accessing care in the community".

"Veterans in need of routine health care services should not have to wait in line for weeks to get an appointment when they can visit community health centers like MinuteClinic to receive timely and convenient care", he said.

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