Veterans Access to Privatized Health Care Extended

President Trump signed into law an extension of the Veterans Affairs Choice Card program on Wednesday, the precursor to a planned massive overhaul of the initiative later this year. The Choice Card program, created by Congress in the wake of VA’s 2014 wait time problems, is one of several programs for veterans to seek medical care outside VA medical centers. Veterans who face lengthy wait times for medical appointments or live more than 40 miles from VA facilities can use the available funds to seek …

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Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Program

Caregivers play an important role in the health and well-being of Veterans. Rehabilitation after a serious injury or during a chronic illness can be a lengthy and confusing process that may leave Veterans and their family caregivers feeling isolated and adrift in an uncertain sea. VA’s Caregiver Program can be a life raft during such periods. The program aims to support caregivers who in turn support Veterans in ways VA cannot.  Recently, VA Secretary Shulkin initiated a review of the National Caregiver Support Program “to …

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New VA Choice Program to be Unveiled by Fall

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said he hopes to have a replacement for the controversial Choice Card program before Congress by this fall, a move that would give lawmakers just a few months of debate before the current program runs out.  President Trump is scheduled to sign legislation extending the Choice program past August until the end of 2017, when funding for those services are expected to run out.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2nMNRDl

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Video Preview of VA’s New Online Tool for Health Care Access and Quality Info

For many Veterans, deciding when, where and how to receive medical care is often one of the most complex and challenging decisions of the health care process.  Health care performance, access or quality of care data, is very complicated – leaving many Veterans at a loss for the best course of action. To help, VA is launching a new website with an access and quality tool to help Veterans make more informed choices.

Watch a video preview of the new online tool:  http://bit.ly/2ow86Eo

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Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Addresses Key Pending Veteran Legislation

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) addressed a House of Representatives subcommittee on veterans affairs recently, emphasizing key pending legislation in support of veterans.  Seven House Bills were addressed, involving support regarding disability claims, financial support, travel expense for certain  exams and other issues.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2of8Fm0

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New Veterans Affairs Website Will Have Many Helpful Features

Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) David Shulkin announced that the VA will unveil a new website this month that will help veterans make better choices about their health care. The website will feature up-to-date wait times for medical appointments and will allow patients to rate their care at VA facilities.  The website is part of the Secretary’s 10-point plan to modernize VA care.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2nJca00

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VA Secretary Praises Congress for Extending Veterans Choice Program

Following the U.S. Senate’s passage by unanimous consent, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that extends the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) until the funding dedicated to the program is exhausted. The VCP is a critical program that increases access to care for millions of Veterans. Without this legislation, the ability to use VCP funding would have ended abruptly on Aug. 7 of this year.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2o2Mi15

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Robotic Brace for Veterans of Spinal Cord Injury

For many veterans with spinal cord injuries causing paralysis to the lower extremities, being able to walk again is the promise of a better quality of life.  ReWalk Exoskeleton equipment can give the user the ability to stand from a seated position and, with the assistance of a caregiver and the use of forearm crutches, bear weight and take steps without needing to contract muscles.  In addition, the structural support of the exoskeleton helps with moving the patient forward.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2oF4jBz

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VA Disability Claims Backlog Rising. VA Secretary Optimistic About Recovery

The number of backlogged veterans benefits claims is rising again. Veterans Affairs says it’s only a temporary problem and that it will be brought back down in coming weeks.  It is because some resources and personnel were shifted to handle the significant number of veteran benefit appeals cases.  In a National Public Radio interview, VA Secretary Shulkin said that VA “is on a path toward recovery”.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2nQONFo  AND  http://n.pr/2ogM8FL

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MOAA Testifies on Veteran Health Care Before Joint Congressional Committee

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) testified on veteran health care issues before a joint session of the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees.  MOAA asked the committees to act immediately to extend the VA Choice Program, which is scheduled to end Aug. 7, 2017.  Thousands of vets have used the Choice Program to obtain medical care from community providers when they have been unable to obtain appointments at their local VA medical center or clinic. Other key health care issues were addressed during …

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