VFW Releases Initial Report on the Veterans Choice Program
VFW recommendations would improve delivery of health care options for veterans
March 03, 2015
WASHINGTON — The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.
will deliver to Congress this week its initial report on the implementation of
the new Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Choice Program. The report is
based on a survey of more than 2,500 VFW members over the first three months of the
Veterans Choice Program, which VA launched on November 5, 2014.
important that veterans have the opportunity to make informed health care
decisions that best fit their own individual circumstances,” said VFW National
Commander John W. Stroud, who's in Washington along with more than 500 VFW
advocates to deliver the report to every member of Congress as part of this
week’s VFW National Legislative Conference. “The Veterans Choice Program is an
ambitious initiative that is supposed to offer more options to veterans who
need it, which is why the VFW has an obligation to keep our pulse on the
veterans’ community to ensure the program works.”
survey identified problems among many veterans who believed they were eligible
for the Choice Program due to their geographic distance from a VA facility. For
those who have waited 30 or more days for an appointment, the VFW also
identified communication and training problems that may have precluded veterans
from being properly informed of their non-VA care options.
is now working closely with VA and the third party administrators responsible
for the implementation of the Choice Program.
The VFW’s report includes six specific
recommendations to improve the delivery of health care options for veterans, as
well as a detailed analysis of participation, wait-time standards, geographic eligibility,
and non-VA care issues that must be addressed to ensure this important program
succeeds in increasing access to health care for America’s veterans. Read the
VFW report here.
In an ongoing effort to hold the VA
accountable for the proper implementation of this program, and to provide
direct customer feedback, the VFW has now launched a second Veterans Choice
Program survey, which is available via www.vfw.org/VAWatch.
"As the Veterans Choice Program matures, the VFW
will continue to issue reports about what is working and how VA and Congress
can fix what is not," said Stroud. "This program is intended to be
the solution to last year's nationwide crisis in care and confidence. The VFW
will not let it fail."
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