Just Like the Title Suggests….. VETERAN BEWARE!!!!!
The VET CHOICE PROGRAM from the Department of Veteran Affairs was intended to be a great program for veteran’s care….. But that might just not be the case depend on where you live and “What” VA hospital to have to get your care from…..
I can tell you from 1st hand experience that here at the Dallas VA… the program is less than desirable! In my particular situation, it started off alright with getting a referral to a civilian provider to get care and that is where it pretty much stopped. The particular coordinator did not return phone calls nor emails from me nor from my doctor. It took me going in and talking with that persons supervisor to get a call back as well as to her call my civilian provider to get things started. I won’t tell you what she told me for that is for telling at another time…..
So from there….. my doctor did the consult. Determined the scope of work and developed a treatment plan submitting all of that into the coordinator for the Dallas VA and nothing.
A months or so went by and still nothing. Then I called the civilian doctor to inquiry if they had heard anything. I was told they’ve heard nothing and… they called several additional times including sending additional emails Still nothing. I was further told that the doctor has still not been paid to date!
DOES THIS SOUND FAMILAR??? NO CARE AND NOR FOLLOW UP FROM VA!
So once the holidays were over I made contact with the Director of the Dallas VA to wit he assigned a staff member to work with me and to follow me through with my care. A few calls to me and to my doctor and a request to resubmission the doctor’s billing and treatment plan to the Dallas VA.
2 weeks paste and I had heard nothing. So I called my doctor and I was told that VA declined my treatment! INTERESTING! I thought that the Dallas VA Administrator’s assigned staff member was to work closely with me and keep me informed? GUESS NOT!
I immediately sent emails to both the administrator and to the staff member. I’ve heard nothing! I sent additional emails and I’ve still heard nothing!
What’s disturbing about all of this is that I know the hospital administrator and up to this point I thought he was a good man and cared about the care of the veterans.
I am only grateful that this was not, nor is not a life threating situation. I would be dead by now!
So veterans….. BEWARE OF THIS PROGRAM!
I offer these recommendations for any veteran that uses the VET CHOICE Program and whether or not you encounter problems as I have…..
- Document everything! That means everything.
- Who you talk with/to and about what…
- Document the dates of meetings and conversations, and outcomes…
- Keep copies of any and all written communications including emails and/or letters…
- Hold VA accountable for their actions and or lack of their actions. and stay in communication weekly if not more….
If you do as above, in the event that your referral does not provide the care you deserve and or are entitled to, your documentation can and will be used as evidence to proved your case/claim against those that “FAILED” you at VA. And in some situations they might even be “Fired” for failing to do their job!
As for me… since the local administrator has chosen not to follow up and or coordinate with me regarding this issue… I am taking my case to the next level! Mr. JM, and Mr. TB… you should have followed up with your commitment to me and to me as a veteran!
Below is a flyer from VA that describes the Vet CHOICE Program for your reading pleasure…