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VAMC Timelines for Pain Treatment

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I am in need of another epidural pain block for my spine. I normally use a non-VA doctor with my private health insurance and the wait is usually a week or two. However, this was a great opportunity to track durations from one stage to the next. Each duration is calculated from date to date and include weekends and holidays.

 

1. Primary care referral to Neurology appointment: 38 days

2. Neurology referral to pain clinic appointment: 76 days

3. Pain clinic referral for outside care (no pain doctor available): 16 days

4. Outside care (Business Office) calls and asks if I would like to use the Choice program. Says it may take up to 7 days to receive a call from the Choice Program.

5. Once I hear from the Choice Program, then I will have to wait for them to schedule the procedure. No idea how long it may take.

 

Everyone I spoke with every step of the way was very kind and professional, but it has taken 130 days to get to #4.

Anyone else experience similar timelines?

 

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No, my timeline is MUCH worse.  If I have to use Veterans choice, I have to first make an appointment with my prime care doc.  About 60 days.  

Then, a nuerology appointment may ensue, that is another 60 days.  

It will take another 6o days just to get a call to schedule the appointment for private care, if approved.  

Timeline is 180 days plus.  

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On 8/9/2017 at 4:41 PM, broncovet said:

No, my timeline is MUCH worse.  If I have to use Veterans choice, I have to first make an appointment with my prime care doc.  About 60 days.  

Then, a nuerology appointment may ensue, that is another 60 days.  

It will take another 6o days just to get a call to schedule the appointment for private care, if approved.  

Timeline is 180 days plus.  

Sounds like a good reason to write a letter to Shulkin

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When I used VA dentist they wanted me to wait two-three months for a permanent crown while wearing a temporary crown.   I private dentist said this was asking for problems since with temporary crown bacteria can get into the pulp of your tooth and you then wind up with root canal.  It took about ten days for private dentist to get me a permanent crown instead of 2-3 months.   I paid the money and kept the tooth.  When you use the VA you might as well be on Medicade/Welfare.  I use them just for spite and they are good for a few things.  I have had no luck with their private referral system.   The doctors in my area that accept VA are the worst.

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On 8/11/2017 at 3:42 PM, john999 said:

When I used VA dentist they wanted me to wait two-three months for a permanent crown while wearing a temporary crown.   I private dentist said this was asking for problems since with temporary crown bacteria can get into the pulp of your tooth and you then wind up with root canal.  It took about ten days for private dentist to get me a permanent crown instead of 2-3 months.   I paid the money and kept the tooth.  When you use the VA you might as well be on Medicade/Welfare.  I use them just for spite and they are good for a few things.  I have had no luck with their private referral system.   The doctors in my area that accept VA are the worst.

I had almost the same experience at my VA dental clinic about 10 or 15 years ago. Had tooth pain radiating throughout one side of my head. VA dentist checked and the said nothing was wrong with the temporary crown. Because I spent time in a dental unit, I knew to look up a local endodontist. Root was infected due to bacteria seepage past the temporary. He packed it with antibiotics, sealed it up, and wrote me a script for broad spectrum antibiotic horse pills. Two weeks later, he went back in, cleaned things up, and installed a gold crown all within about two hours. Yes, it was paid for with my own money, but never had a problem with it. Best part was the nitrous, good stuff.

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