Veterans Affairs Secretary Shulkin Says it’s Time to Rethink the VA Disability System

Its time to rethink a veteran disability system that “incentivizes disability,” Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said during a recent forum in Washington. He stated that our system should be incentivizing health and well-being. Shulkin made the comments in response to a question about whether the system should be re-evaluated. Potential new offerings could include wellness programs, rather than simply monthly compensation payments.

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VA Standardizing Caregiver Plan Before Opening to Older Veterans

Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Shulkin told Congressional committees in recent weeks that he supports a change in law to expand the post-9/11 caregiver program so that its cash stipend and menu of support services can benefit caregivers of severely injured veterans from earlier generations.First, however, the VA wants to standardize how the post-9/11 program is administered so it is more uniform and predictable.Veteran service organizations have been pressing for more detailed guidance on proper operation of caregiver benefits.

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VA Secretary David Shulkin’s Vision for the Veterans Affairs Department

Future Veterans Affairs clinics could feature fewer maternity services, fewer cancer specialists and more reliance on private-sector clinics for routine or non-military care, under Secretary David Shulkins vision for the department.We dont have enough resources to do everything” he said, “so lets build an integrated system that relies on what already exists in the private sector with what needs to be enhanced in the VA. This is not a move towards privatization, he said. “This is amove to help veterans.

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TRICARE Changes Coming Soon

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) brought sweeping health care reforms, many of which will take effect in just a few months. Under the new model, beneficiaries must make an active, annual choice of health plan for themselves and/or their family. Because 2018 is the first year of the plan, there will be a grace period, and beneficiaries will be automatically renewed in their existing TRICARE option as of Dec. 31, 2017. However, two groups of beneficiaries may be at risk of losing coverage.

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Disabled American Veterans Letters to Congress

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) submitted an open letter to all House and Senate members urging them to enact legislation that would strengthen and expand eligibility for the Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. In addition, they submitted a letter expressing “profound concerns” to the Joint Veteran Affairs Committee regarding a proposal that would restrict a total disability rating from being provided to veterans who are unable to maintain gainful employment and are provided Individual Unemployability.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2sz28ph AND http://bit.ly/2sFLMKX

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Veterans Coordinated Access and Rewarding Experiences (CARE) Program

Veteran Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin has presented more details on his plan to overhaul the current Veterans Choice Program and improve health care delivery. The new proposal would consolidate all purchased care programs into a single community care program called Veterans Coordinated Access and Rewarding Experiences (CARE). According to the Secretary, the Veterans CARE proposal would clarify and simplify eligibility requirements, build high performing networks, streamline clinical and administrative processes, and implement new care coordination support for veterans”.

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VA official downplays Agent Orange risks; his comments do not accurately reflect VA’s position.

A key federal official who helps adjudicate claims by veterans who say they were exposed to Agent Orange has downplayed the risks of the chemical herbicide and questioned the findings of scientists, journalists and even a federal administrative tribunal that conflict with his views. Veterans Affairssaid his comments “did not fully or accurately reflect VA’s position”,and also saidhis quotes were being taken out of context.

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Disabled American Veterans Expands Mobile Service Office Program

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) believes that all veterans should have accessto the benefits they earned; that is why theorganizations Mobile Service Office (MSO) program treks thousands of miles each year to bring advocacy services directly to veterans. Since 2001, DAVs MSO program has traveled throughout the country to counsel, assist and educate veterans and their families on the benefits they are eligible for through their service. In 2016, they visited 845 sites, helping vets file thousands of claims.

Read more and access the MSO schedule: http://bit.ly/2r7Ls7X

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VA to use Defense Department’s Electronic Medical Records System

Veterans Affairs has announced plans to shift veterans electronic medical records to the same system used by the Defense Department, potentially ending historic problems in sharing information between the two bureaucracies. VA Secretary Shulkin announced the decision as a game-changing move that will create an easier to navigate system for veterans.

Read more at http://bit.ly/2r1pE9Z and view VA Secretary Shulkin’s announcement video at http://bit.ly/2qQzXNQ.

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Veterans Complaint Hotline Activated

The Presidents promised hotline for veteran complaints has officially launched. The phone line (855-948-2311) is designed to collect, process and respond to the complaints of individual veterans in a responsive, timely and accountable manner, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA Secretary Shulkin described the initial roll out of the line as a soft launch, with live-answer agents receiving and processing some of the calls. By Aug. 15, the hotline will have continuous coverage from a live operator 24 hours a day, every day …

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