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Fee Basis...how Does This Work?

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Hi fellow Veterans;

I am going to have surgery on my ankle/foot/toe and my Podiatrist can't do the procedure until October. I am considering waiting b/c he is my Podiatrist but he did indicated that I can go outside the VA with the new "Fee Basis Program".

How does this work?

Do I get to pick the doctor?

Is this a good idea to have my surgery with a doctor who has never seen me before?

Thanks for the help!


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This the most updated info I have:


This link is from my local VAMC


Maybe your VAMC has a link on fee basis too.

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Thank you! I think this is the same process I am going through right now and just realized it! I am currently seeing a therapist on the outside through Tri-West who is having the therapist paid by the VA. I believe that is the same program. Will look into that.

Can you also tell me about getting temporary 100% disability while I am out of commission so to speak? Looking at 6-8 weeks.

Thank You!

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I am not sure as to your other questions I have a great podiatrist and am not a vet so it is always good to get someone you feel comfortable with...

Here are the temp convalescence regs:

"Under 38 C.F.R. § 4.30, a temporary total rating for convalescence will be assigned effective from the date of hospital admission and continue for 1, 2, or 3 months from the first day of the month following hospital discharge when treatment of a service-connected disability results in (1) surgery necessitating at least one month of convalescence; (2) surgery with severe postoperative residuals such as incompletely healed surgical wounds, stumps of recent amputations, therapeutic immobilization of one major joint or more, application of a body cast, or the necessity for house confinement, or the necessity for continued use of a wheelchair or crutches (regular weight-bearing prohibited); or (3) immobilization by cast, without surgery, of one major joint or more. The total rating will be followed by an open rating reflecting the appropriate schedular evaluation; where the evidence is inadequate to assign the schedular evaluation, a physical examination will be scheduled prior to the end of the total rating period. An extension of 1, 2, or 3 months beyond the initial 3 months may be granted and extensions of 1 or more months up to 6 months beyond the initial 6 months period may be made, upon approval of the Veterans Service Center Manager. 38 C.F.R. § 4.30."

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I would get a SECOP on that operation if I were you. I had a very minor operation done by a podiatrist and got a severe staff infection and almost lost my foot. I have used Fee Base on occasion and have had bad luck with it. Doctors who accept it tend to be greedy or hungry. I had an eye exam and dental done Fee Base. Both were poor because one cut corners and the other wanted to do stuff that was unnecessary just for a payday. Reminds me of the worker's compensation doctor I had who wanted to operate on me every time I saw him.


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  • HadIt.com Elder

It is very limited and restricted with VA having to give prior approval. it can work but the VA is also a notorious slow pay which usually pisses the outside Docs off

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