President and VA Secretary Announce Veteran Telehealth Initiatives

President Trump and VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin announced three initiatives that will expand access to health care for Veterans across the country. Using telehealth technology and mobile applications, VA will connect with more Veterans to provide services where they live. Through VA Telehealth, VA can practice over 50 clinical specialties, from tele-dermatology to tele-intensive care, Shulkin explained.

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Lawmakers and Veterans Groups Debate VA Choice Program’s Future

Lawmakers have all but assured that the Veterans Affairs Choice program will survive until 2018. But what happens after that will be a major legislative issue in the Fall. At issue are philosophical differences in the evolving role of VA, and whether the countrys pledge to cover veterans medical needs is better served by building up the existing system or outsourcing more care to the private sector.

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Veterans With Pain Increasingly Using Complementary and Integrative Therapies

Many Veterans with back and neck pain are using yoga, meditation, and acupuncture. The most common type of chronic pain comes from musculoskeletal conditions, including back and neck problems, and osteoarthritis. Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which mandates that these complementary and integrative health therapies be provided in VA to provide non-drug options to treat pain and pains related health conditions. This can potentially help many people suffering from pain who use opioids, which has led to a national opioid epidemic.

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Ten Things About The Veterans Choice Program

The Veterans Choice Program (VCP) is a benefit that allows eligible Veterans to receive health care from a community provider rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.

Read about eligibility for the program, how to make an appointment if eligible, how to get prescriptions filled if you use the Veterans Choice Program, co-payments and more: http://bit.ly/2u3rTdp

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Congressional Action on VA Issues

The House of Representativeshas unanimously approved the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, which embodies a new framework for veterans to appeal negative decisions on their disability claims. The new appeals system provides veterans with multiple options to challenge unfavorable decisions. In addition, Congress has reached a new deal on the VA budget crisis.

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VA Testing Mobile App That Helps Tailor Care Based On Each Veteran’s Genetics

When a new system being field tested this summer goes live, VA will become the first U.S. health care organization ever to put genetic testing data into the hands of patients via a mobile application. The system, named Genetic Diagnostic Testing App, will put individual genetic information in the hands of Veterans providing them with access to their information anywhere, anytime, as well as the ability to share it with VA and non-VA providers alike. In short, medical professionals will be able to provide …

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Proposed VA Choice Program Funding Bill Fails in House Vote

A House vote on funding for the Veterans Affairs Choice Program failed to get enough votes to pass on Monday. The bill would have provided $2 billion to the healthcare program over the next six months. Consequently the remaining money in the VA Choice Program will run out in mid-August if no additional funding is provided. VA officials have said without additional money for the Choice accounts in the next few weeks, thousands of veterans will be forced off the program.

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House Lawmakers Consider a Six-Month Fix for the VA Choice Program

House leaders are eyeing a six-month funding patch to keep the Department of Veterans Affairs Choice program running while congressional leaders debate the future of the medical care program. The move, announced by House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman, would cost about $2 billion to allow veterans in the system to continue receiving outside medical appointments at VAs expense. However, leading veterans groups are opposing theHouse plans, saying it unfairly shifts needed monies away from department programs.

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Veteran Appeals Bill Making Its Way Through Congress

In the last session of Congress, appeals reform legislation was introduced but not passed; now the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 has cleared critical hurdles in both the House and Senate and is well on its way to overhauling the current process for veterans appeals at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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VA Benefits for Veterans’ Spouses, Dependents and Survivors

Family members and dependents of Servicemembers who were seriously injured or died in the line of duty may be eligible for many types of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. These include benefits that may be used to advance in a career, get an education, or provide supplementary income. There are other additional VA benefits that may potentially be earned by a spouse, child, or parent of a Veteran or Servicemember.

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