VA tests partnership with CVS to reduce veterans' wait times

Trump to sign bill extending veterans' health care program

The new program, now limited to the Phoenix area, comes three years after the VA faced allegations of chronically long wait times at its centers, including its Phoenix facility, which treats about 120,000 veterans. With this law, veterans will be able to continue utilizing the Choice program to seek care in the community while we work with President Trump to improve the program and bring wholesale reform to the VA. That proposal is due out by fall. Congress would have to approve any changes to the VA health system. "This is a great day to celebrate not only what veterans have contributed to the country, but how we're making things better for them".

The Choice program was developed after a 2014 scandal over wait times at the VA medical center in Phoenix. Yet the program itself often encountered long wait times of its own.

The extension of the bill passed by Congress authorized the sharing of medical records to hospitals outside the VA and modifies the procedures for reimbursement for private hospitals. He gave a special notice to "my good friend, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Navy veteran who is here with us to represent more than a million veterans from the state of Florida".




The Oregonian reported about more than a dozen Oregon veterans that were turned away from the program, with appeals responded to with form letters.

"The idea of having seven, eight ways of doing the same thing is part of the problem, because it's confusing to veterans, it's confusing to the community providers", VA Deputy Undersecretary Dr. Baligh Yehia said past year.

"Our number one priority is getting veterans' access to care when and where they need it", said Baligh Yehia, the VA's deputy undersecretary for health for community care. Many vets complain that Choice actually makes getting care more hard and time-consuming, and some health care providers have dropped out due to slow payments or administrative hassles. He said those appointments would have otherwise "lagged" in the VA scheduling system. He's also attempted to ease worries the VA would move completely into the private sector, which has been a concern of some groups that say VA care is uniquely fit for veterans. "We have a long way to go to fully reform veterans' health care, but today's legislation is an important first step in that effort".

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