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VA announces access standards for health care

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Let's all talk about this! I look forward to posting comments during the public comment period. Links to each RIN are below the quoted article.

I think it is a step in the right direction, but the "access standards" need some improvement. They are too restrictive and exclusionary.

 

https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/56022/va-announces-access-standards-health-care/?fbclid=IwAR386j6S09Icp4A0TGaINkCxmJOLH401kWVH_lYFJxidmP3hkm68m0HwUcs

Quote

Today, VA announced its proposed access standards for community care and urgent care provisions that will take effect in June and guide when Veterans can seek care to meet their needs under the MISSION Act – be it with VA or with community providers.

Under the MISSION Act, signed by President Trump in June 2018, there are six different eligibility criteria for community care:

  • Services unavailable
  • Residence in a State without a full-service VA medical facility
  • 40-mile legacy/grandfathered from the Choice program
  • Access standards
  • Best medical interest
  • Needing care from a VA medical service line that VA determines is not providing care that complies with VA’s standards for quality

 

ACCESS STANDARDS

VA is proposing new access standards, effective when the final regulations publish (expected in June 2019), to ensure Veterans have greater choice in receiving care.

Eligibility criteria and final standards as follows were based on VA’s analysis of all of the best practices both in government and in the private sector and tailored to the needs of our Veteran patients:

  • Access standards will be based on average drive time and appointment wait times.
  • For primary care, mental health, and non-institutional extended care services, VA is proposing a 30-minute average drive time standard.
  • For specialty care, VA is proposing a 60-minute average drive time standard.
  • VA is proposing appointment wait-time standards of 20 days for primary care, mental health care, and non-institutional extended care services, and 28 days for specialty care from the date of request with certain exceptions.

Eligible Veterans who cannot access care within those standards would be able to choose between eligible community providers and care at a VA medical facility.

URGENT CARE

Eligible Veterans will have access to urgent (walk-in) care that gives them the choice to receive certain services when and where they need it. To access this new benefit, Veterans will select a provider in VA’s community care network and may be charged a copayment.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said, “Our medical services must meet our Veterans’ needs and reinforce the trust that forms the basis for every interaction with VA. Our new access standards are a vital part of this effort.

“Most Americans can already choose the health care providers that they trust, and President Trump promised that Veterans would be able to do the same. With VA’s new access standards, the future of the VA health care system will lie in the hands of Veterans – exactly where it should be.”

Secretary Wilkie’s full statement is available here.

VA encourages the public to comment on the proposed access standards and urgent care benefit during the public comment period once these proposed regulations (RIN 2900-AQ46 and RIN 2900-AQ47, respectively) publish in the Federal Register; we look forward to receiving this feedback.

 

https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201810&RIN=2900-AQ46

https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201810&RIN=2900-AQ46

 

 

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This sounds like a great start to veterans getting the care that they need.  Specialty care is a six hour round trip for me.

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2 minutes ago, vetquest said:

This sounds like a great start to veterans getting the care that they need.  Specialty care is a six hour round trip for me.

It appears to be a promising start.

The introduction of drive times was interesting. I wonder how they will calculate it for urban areas.

I live about 21 miles from my VAMC, but drive time is often over an hour due to traffic. That is not counting congestion caused by drivers gawking at someone who is changing a tire.

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I  took note of the word PROPOSED in the beginning of this..won't believe any of it until it is more than a proposal.  The 6 hours round trip for specialty care, honestly I go without care often because of that burden!

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There is "already" something suspicious.  The VA is apparnetly proposing a 30 minute or 60 minute "average drive time".  What gives here??  Is the VA trying to tell us how much time we must spend driving to the VA???  Good grief.  In LA, it probably takes an hour or more to go 15 miles, in traffic, while in Wyoming or Kansas, Vets may well make 75 miles in an hours time.  

And, these "average drive times" are, well, "made up".  Im sure they did not really "average out" Vets drive time, but rather guessed.  It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out 60 minutes is a guess.  If they measured it, and averged it, it would probably be 59.87 minutes or 60.23 minutes..that I may buy.  But an "average" of 60 minutes means they did not measure it, they guessed.  

Im not sure why it matters how long it takes for us to drive to the doc.  Well, except for, as someone said, trying to "weave in" restrictions and making simple stuff complicated.  

It reminds me of the VA seperating the caregiver act..into "post 911" eligible, and "pre 911" not eligible.  What genius VA exec devised this regulation to shaft Viet nam ERA and WW2 era Vets, favoing new Vets.  

So, do they plan on shafting people who live far from a VAMC???  VA makes Vets supsicous the old fashioned way...they earned it by lying to us.  

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