Beware of VA Vet Choice Program Ruining Some Vetís Credit

Some veterans are seeing their credit ruined by using the Veterans Choice health program because the Veterans Affairs Department is not reimbursing participating physicians promptly, forcing them to bill their veteran patients who often canít pay. Veterans advocates and House lawmakers said 11 FEB that veterans using the community care program face long delays in treatment and bad credit because physicians are waiting up to six months for reimbursements from VA and are demanding payment from patients, often forwarding the bills to collection agencies.  The Veterans Choice program was launched in November 2014 to give veterans who face lengthy wait times for care or live 40 miles or more from a VA facility the option to see a private physician. It has come under fire for failing to improve veterans' access to medical treatment since patients continue to face challenges making appointments or receiving approval for care.

Providers have complained about the program as well, citing long delays in payments and disparate reimbursement rates.

According to VA officials, the department paid less than 70 percent of its claims to providers within 30 days. In contrast, 99 percent of Tricare and Medicare claims from community providers are processed within 30 days.

 Source: Military Times |Patricia Kime | February 11, 2016]


Yours in service,

 Chuck Weber

Service Officer