Leading Veterans Groups Respond to the Administration’s Proposed VA Budget

Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars have responded to the Administration’s proposed budget for the delivery of health care for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Fiscal Years 2018-19.

Read the VA’s overview of the proposed budget: ( http://bit.ly/2qpgOSe ) and the assessment of it by the veterans groups: ( http://bit.ly/2qhTuL8 ).

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VA Veterans Experience Office Strives to Improve Veteran Care and Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs established the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) to capture, share and improve the experience of all those served by the VA. VEO listens to the voice of Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors and is aimed at enhancing their access to care, benefits and services.

Read a key example of the VEO at work ( http://bit.ly/2q1XrOZ ) AND the rationale for establishing the VEO and appointing the Chief Veterans Experience Officer: http://bit.ly/2o6C3ec

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Improving Care and Safety When Managing Pain

With patient safety as a top priority, the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs have updated their clinical guidance on opioid therapy used to manage chronic pain. Since opioids like Vicodin, OxyContin, and morphine are powerful pain relievers, they can lead to dependence, misuse, or overdose if theyre not managed properly. Updates in the 2017 guideline reflect a continued commitment to beneficiaries for safety and safe opioid prescribing, which will result in better quality of care.

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

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VA Warns About Veterans Choice Program Scammers

There’s a phone line that has been set up to scam veterans who happen to misdial the Veterans Choice Program phone number. The only difference between the phone numbers is the area code, warns the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Veterans Choice Program phone number is 1-866-606-8198. The scammer’s number replaces 866 with 800. Their objective is to get your credit card information.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2q27vrn

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VA Extends Review of Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

Veterans Affairs is extending its strategic review of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to make sure everyone — from Veterans and their caregivers to VA employees who work with them — has clear guidance on enrollment criteria for the program.  VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin said “Our Caregiver Support Program is making a difference in the lives of our Veterans and the caregivers who support them, and we want to make sure the program is operating in the best way for them, …

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Bipartisan Support for Veterans Affairs Accountability Legislation

The Veterans of Foreign Wars and other veteran fraternal organizations are praising leadership of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees for their bipartisan deal that will increase options to hold VA personnel accountable for their performance.  House VA Committee leaders commended their Senate counterparts for reaching agreement on accountability legislation, and they look forward to working with members in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle to get the bill signed into law.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2r7MsFx  AND  http://bit.ly/2pq64av

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Warning Regarding Fake Veterans Choice Program Phone Line

VA is taking action in response to a phone line that appears to be set up to take advantage of Veterans who misdial the Veterans Choice Program phone line.  The two phone lines differ only in area code. The correct Choice Program phone line is 1-866-606-8198, while the imposter phone line is using 1-800-606-8198. The fake line does not provide information on the Choice Program or its eligibility criteria, instead it claims to offer callers a $100 rebate if they provide a credit card number.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2qaGMvV

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Veterans Affairs Launches Scheduling App

The Department of Veterans Affairs has created a web-based app that allows veterans using its medical system to request or schedule certain appointments online. The Veteran Appointment Request (VAR) app is available to use at select locations and can be used with any compatible Web browser, whether on a desktop or mobile device.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2q76l2k

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House Considers Measure to Trim Years off the VA Appeals Process

Veterans unhappy with their benefits payouts have a five-year average wait today if they appeal the decision.  House of Representatives lawmakers are hopeful that soon they can take years off that wait.  Members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee have debated draft legislation that would radically overhaul the Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits appeals process.  Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and other vet service organizations have addressed the Committee showing strong support for the legislation.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2p34POm  AND  http://bit.ly/2pMuZUK

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New TRICARE Laws and Contracts to Drive “Historic” Reforms

Military health care is eight months from rolling out “historic” reforms to improve patient access and quality of care; to streamline health operations across Army, Navy and Air Force; and to better integrate that direct care system with networks of private-sector providers supporting TRICARE insurance beneficiaries, said Vice Admiral Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency (DHA). DHA is responsible for implementing the changes while following through on many previous reforms set in motion for modernizing the military health care system.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2pLQ1kh

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