Articles Tagged with P.L. 113-146

Cuckoos are geniuses in the bird world.  They trick unsuspecting birds into feeding their chicks, usually with the result that the poor duped birds loose their own babies while the cuckoo chick thrives.  But don’t think this happens only in the bird world.  Others have learned from the cuckoo, and are taking your resources!  For example, according to a recent independent study, here is how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compares with a few other large U.S. health-care providers:

Provider            # of Employees       # of Physicians     # of Patients     # of Facilities       States

 VA                              288,000                    20,208                 5,814,463              1,600                  50

Kaiser Permanente     174,400                    17,400                 9,100,000                646                   10

HCA                             225,000                   37,000                 1,795,300                 280                   21

Ascension                   155,000                    40,000                 1,515,500                161                    23

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My ride to the VARO is here!

My ride to the VARO is here!

A little over a year ago, on August 7, 2014, the “Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014,” P.L. 113-146, was signed into law.  The so-called “Choice Act” was intended to improve Veterans’ access to medical services from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

An important part of the Choice Act was allowing Veterans to use private physicians if they were unable to schedule an appointment at a VA medical facility within specified wait-time limits, or lived more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility, or met other eligibility criteria for using a non-VA physician.

More than a year from enactment, has the Choice Act helped Veterans?  No, not really.   Why?  Because VA’s rules still create obstacles to letting Veterans use non-VA medical services. Continue reading

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