The Veterans Administration has been under fire for some time now because of the deplorable state and quality of healthcare they provide veterans. In response, Congress enacted a $10 Billion program through the Veterans Choice Act, entitled the “Veterans Choice Program.” This Program was created as a temporary fix that would allow eligible veterans to receive healthcare from private healthcare providers in the communities where they lived rather than to wait for VA appointments that were often impossible to get. In fact, some veterans who needed immediate care for life threatening conditions often died before they were able to see a physician. Veterans who lived more than 40 miles from their nearest VA facility were also qualified to use this program.
However, despite its best intentions, this program is showing cracks in its administration that are not unlike the original VA healthcare benefit. After just one year in operation, the Veterans Choice Program appears to be an abysmal failure. Not only has it not corrected the problem veterans were having with long waiting periods for appointments, but it has created an all new set of problem for our beleaguered veterans. It looks like this new program has only placed a bandage on a systemic problem, and has created a whole new host of problems in its wake.
Healthcare Problems and Credit Problems for Veterans
Some veterans using the Veterans Choice Health Programs are not only still having long waits for their appointments – still having claims for treatments need and requested by their doctors denied – but now they are having their credit ruined because the Veterans Affairs Department is either delaying authorized payments to the participating private healthcare providers, or they are not paying them at all. Healthcare providers are being forced to bill the veteran directly and many veterans do not have the resources to pay the bills. Healthcare providers, who are not being paid, are submitting their bills to collection agencies, and the ball runs downhill after that. See this article in www.militarytimes.com.
Red Tape Stands in the Way of Adequate Healthcare
Bureaucratic “red tape” has come between the veteran and his right to proper healthcare. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been made aware of this problem, and the need to have this problem fixed as soon as possible. In one case, a veteran who needed eye surgery was denied authorization for the surgery after his initial appointment was approved. The clinic he was going to stopped treatment and demanded to be paid for the treatments he had already received before they would provide him with any further treatment. Without this surgery, there was a possibility that he would lose his sight.
Veterans are not happy with the Veterans Choice Program because they believe that this program creates more problems than it solves. One thing for sure, using the same administrators who created the original veteran healthcare debacle is probably at the root of this problem.
Contact Your Attorney for Answers to Questions Regarding Your VA Benefits
If you are a disabled veteran or servicemember needing assistance in understanding what disability benefits you are entitled to, contact J. Robert Surface Attorney at Law. Contact us today to learn more about your rights under the law.