A constant reminder I like to throw out is that 22 Veterans commit suicide every day. That is almost one an hour. Is that enough to get your attention?
USA reported this over four years ago:
Early 2012: Dr. Katherine Mitchell, a Veterans Affairs emergency-room physician, warns Sharon Helman, incoming director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System, that the Phoenix ER is overwhelmed and dangerous.
“The Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014 is a reported pattern of negligence in the treatment of United States military veterans. Critics charged that patients at the VHA hospitals had not met the target of getting an appointment within 14 days. In some hospitals, the staff falsified appointment records to appear to meet the 14-day target. Some patients died while they were on the waiting list; reports differ about whether they died because of the delay.”
As a result VACAA was born. VACAA stands for the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, a law enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama in August to improve health care for Veterans. The program calls for any Vet waiting more than 30 days in the VA system, or geographically challenged getting to a V.A. Facility, to go to a private doctor for care. It has been a nightmare ever since.
Veterans have been treated worse than before, and the bureaucratic nightmare that ensued was beyond belief. Patients have trouble getting appointments and spend many hours on the phone with inept third party call centers that are staffed by people with no medical training, and very little knowledge about the system itself.
As a result of my dealings with them in the face of Cancer, I started a Facebook page and website dedicated as a sounding board for Veterans experiencing trouble with the system, and somewhere I could offer guidance, when possible, with what I learned with my dealings with “Choice.”
The site has grown immensely with no solicitation and an overwhelming number of Veterans expressed their disdain and woes, some in tears and others on the verge on “giving up.”
The link below tells the full story, but I wanted to share the following comments that say enough to hopefully get as many people behind the grass-roots effort to help improve, eliminate, or revamp the system, to get proper healthcare for those who really deserve it most. These Veterans make all our healthy lives possible in a free country and they should be rewarded with care second to none.
From a caring physician:
VCH called my office and asked if we would take a case for a Vet that needed care. We jumped though all the hoops and went through the processes required. Sent records and went through the authorization processes you required. Now VCH will not pay our bill for the pre-approved treatments and will not return our faxes, letters or phone call. My staff has been on hold listening to hold music for 30 to 60 minutes on multiple occasions and no one ever picks up to take the call. We have satisfied all the requirements to handle this Vets needs and get no response to satisfy the outstanding fees for the pre-approved care.
After pointing out that my Facebook page is just a sounding board in the effort to change Veterans Health Care she responded:
I have a huge heart for vets. I can’t operate my business without incoming funds. I will not agree to take another VC 3rd party pay case. Having met all the pre-approval and the appropriate post follow-up and then be treated like this. My congressmen will be my next step. Thank you for your service. and added:
I might add that VCH called my office to ask if I would take this Vet as a patient. I was delighted to help. Nothing but grief after accepting the case.
I work at a healthcare provider’s office. I have now been on hold for 1 hr 1 min 54 sec. I was contacted by Health Choice on Oct 26 to schedule a patient’s appt. The patient was seen in the office on Nov 11, and now I am having to track down the “ever-important” paperwork that will allow me to submit the patient’s note, get my provider paid, and obtain further services for the patient. I can see how most offices simply don’t have time for this. I am not complaining, but I think it’s important to illustrate the flaws of the system that we so readily ignore. At least until they affect us personally, or people we know. Such a broken system.
This program is one giant rip off. They owe me $49,000! How about you stop paying the fat cats and pencil pushers and instead pay the people who actually do THE WORK!? Without us: no administrators! no schedulers, no useless middlemen–NOTHING! They’re so disorganized and poorly run, they kept my medical biller on hold for TWO HOURS. I’ve called my elected officials and local paper. PAY ME!
To learn more about this abomination, read in our Veterans own words:
And this article explains it more… What is our next step?https://www.revealnews.org/article/veterans-choice-is-flawed-but-congress-is-stymied-on-a-solution/
President Trump… please take notice. God Bless all Veterans.