Another of a long long list of Congressional implemented programs, especially for the VA if and when anything at all is done coming out of hearings held, pushed to implement quickly. Often not funded or grossly under funded, if by conservatives then outsourced to the private sector instead of building and maintaining from within the peoples agencies. Much easier to blame the employee's of said agencies, after doing little to nothing on issues after previous hearings, instead of private sector contractors with little regulation they have no control over. The media readily jumps in to report, usually again, on the hyped very costly 'scandals' created by doing nothing or not enough which creates even more costly, in many ways, problems!
NPR 23 March 2016 report: The law mandated a complicated new health system but gave the VA just 90 days to create it. >>>>
March 22nd 2016 - Local doctors are having to stop accepting patients through a program designed to provide veterans with faster access to specialty care because of systemic problems within the program, an On Your Side investigation has found.
The VA Choice Program was created in 2014 following reports of some veterans waiting months or years for specialty care.
The VA Choice Program is administered by Health Net, a private company contracted by the VA.
Before veteran can actually receive treatment by a private medical provider, Health Net must authorize the treatment.
Health Net slow to pay for treatment
Even after a veteran’s treatment is authorized through the VA Choice Program, an On Your Side investigation has found that the doctor who provided the treatment may never get paid.
Problems across the state
The authorization and reimbursement problems local practices have experienced with Health Net and the VA Choice Program have been felt at medical practices across the state. read more>>>
The long time Congressional spokesperson, on Veterans issues, the NC media go to is Sen. Burr, Conservative, Ranking Republican member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Who led, after fully supporting the abandonment of the missions and those sent to accomplish, along with some 72%plus of the people served, so quickly after 9/11, one of the long time Republican wants to outsource to private facilities Veterans care at the Salisbury VA hospital during OEF and OIF wartime operations, long neglected in upgraded and modern needs. That effort was blocked by Veterans, employee's of that VA and with help from the Jr. NC Senator at the time along with NC representatives in the House. That Jr NC Senator also came to the aid, long neglected also and especially by Sen Burr, leading in and pushing the Sr. Senator to act as well, of the Camp Lejeune Marine Veterans and there Families who were stationed on that base and were exposed to a heavily contaminated water supply for. Her reward was being defeated in a future election by another conservative republican.
March 23, 2016 - The fix is broken.
Two years ago Congress created the Veterans Choice Program after scandals revealed that some veterans were waiting months to get essential medical care. The $10 billion program was designed to get veterans care quickly by letting them choose a doctor outside the VA system. Now Congress and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are pushing through new legislation to fix the program.
Irvin Bishop Small served in the Navy for 10 years. Like most VA patients, he doesn't have a war wound – he has a set of worn out knees and ankles from lugging heavy gear up and down ladders on a ship. Surgery didn't help, and now it hurts to walk.
He's not alone — the same lawmakers who created Choice now say thousands of veterans are getting lost in the confusing system.
"Bottom line is the Choice program is broken," Sen. John Tester, D-Mt., said this month. "We need to fix it and we need to fix it as soon as possible."
Democrats and Republicans are pushing through reforms to the program, which many now admit was hastily passed back in 2014. The law mandated a complicated new health system but gave the VA just 90 days to create it.
The VA turned to outside health care administrators for help, which VA Secretary Bob McDonald says was a primary flaw.
"In my opinion, that was the big mistake with the original Choice act," McDonald told a Senate hearing this month. "We just outsourced customer service to the third-party providers. We would literally just give the veteran a number to call. And that's just not right." read more>>>
You can bet that the private sector 'outsourcing' contractors were recommended by Congressional reps and their staffs, more then likely getting campaign contributions from!
People served, especially wealthy and all conservatives: 2 Aug 2015 - 'I fight like hell to pay as little as possible': Donald Trump says he avoids all the tax he can. Two huge tax breaks, for the wealthy especially, came with these recent long wars!
And that covers much more in the Deficits, like even paying for war policies and the results from and much more, then just the, grossly under funded thus not properly built nor properly maintained, and not conservative obstructionists pols, and people served, concern, VA budgets!!