Email Alert: 20 August 2014 – GAO Recommends Ending U.S. Family Health Program Benefit

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report recommends eliminating the U.S. Family Health Program (USFHP) benefit, citing duplicate services and unnecessary costs.  The USFHP provides managed health care (TRICARE Prime) for military beneficiaries in six geographic areas using a patient-centered model of enhanced access.

Read more at: http://www.moaa.org/Main_Menu/Take_Action/Top_Issues/Serving_in_Uniform/Health_Care/GAO_Report__Eliminate_USFHP.html

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Email Alert: 18 August 2014 – Veterans Awaiting Primary Care at the VA Can Seek a Private Physician

Veterans waiting for a primary care appointment at a VA medical facility may now be able to get one at a private physician under a program that allows veterans to seek medical treatment outside the Veterans Affairs Department.  VA announced Wednesday that primary care has been added to its Patient-Centered Community Care, or PC3, program.

Read more at: http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140813/BENEFITS04/308130056/Vets-awaiting-primary-care-VA-can-now-seek-private-physician

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Email Alert: 15 August 2014 – Five Overlooked Military Benefits

Veterans might be overlooking a major benefit or training opportunity that could change their life and the contents of their pocketbook.  Far too many benefits go unused by service members and veterans.

Read this article to see some of the top benefits overlooked:  http://bit.ly/1vfgWEU

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Email Alert: 13 August 2014 – Toxic Exposure Research and Military Family Support Act of 2014

Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) joined forces to introduce The Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2014.  This bill, S.2738, instructs the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a national center for research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxins during service in the Armed Forces. Further, S.2738 calls for the establishment of an advisory board to oversee and assess the work of the center; to determine health conditions that result …

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Email Alert: 11 August 2014 – VA Secretary Calls for Town Hall Meetings

New Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald has ordered town hall meetings at all department health and benefits facilities by the end of September, in an effort to better understand veterans’ complaints about services.  In a message to staff, McDonald said the meetings are designed to gather feedback from veterans and their families, but will also be open to lawmakers, veterans groups and other local individuals who work with the facilities.
Read more at:  http://bit.ly/1kmBcPY

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Email Alert: 8 August 2014 – Oil Well Fire Exposure During Gulf War

The Veterans Administration and research organizations continue to evaluate possible causes of Gulf War veterans’ chronic multi-symptom illnesses.  As indicated in a recent Veterans Against Myeloma (VAM) Email Alert, the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry is a database of information about exposures experienced by vets and service members.  This update includes oil well fire exposure, not specifically mentioned in the previously referenced article.

Participation in the VA Registry is voluntary and will not affect access to health care or benefits.  Vets and service members …

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Email Alert: 7 August 2014 – President Obama Signs Veterans Affairs Department Reform Bill

President Obama signed the new Veterans Affairs Department reform bill into law Thursday.  The $16.3 billion measure has been touted by lawmakers, administration officials and veterans groups as an important first step in fixing VA issues. It would expand private care options, fund hiring of new clinicians, lease more medical space and ease rules for the dismissal of VA senior officials.  It will, however, take some time to implement in detail.
Read more at:   http://bit.ly/1qYGCni

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Email Alert: 6 August 2014 – Resource Guide for Homeless Veterans

The Department of Housing and Urban Development – VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program is a joint effort between HUD and VA to move Veterans and their families out of homelessness and into permanent housing.  HUD provides housing assistance through its Housing Choice Voucher Program that allows homeless Veterans to rent privately owned housing.  In addition, VA offers eligible homeless Veterans clinical and supportive services across the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Learn more at:   http://www.va.gov/homeless/hud-vash.asp

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Email Alert: 4 August 2014: How the New Veterans Health Bill Will Help Veterans Get Care

The bill just passed by the House and Senate is called the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (HR 3230).  Upon becoming law following the President’s signature, it will launch a number of initiatives to address the recent problems of the VA Health System.   Administration of the initiatives will be a challenge, as will identifying 5 billion dollars in the current  VA budget to fund some of the new objectives
Read more about the anticipated programs that will be implemented and the related issues:   http://1.usa.gov/1rM34fi

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Email Alert – 1 Aug 2014: Senate Passes Veterans Health Bill

On Thursday, the Senate passed a compromise bill allowing veterans to seek private care and adding $17 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs budget.  This will allow the VA to hire more doctors to address long wait lists, open 27 new outpatient clinics, and implement other initiatives. The final vote in favor was 91-3.
Read more at: http://bit.ly/1nZdVo9

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