Are you a veteran that used Choice, or do you know one? Are you aware that in October of this year
the VA unveiled CARE (Coordinated Access & Rewarding Experiences) as the
replacement plan for Choice? Many
veterans groups had input on the new program.
Choice came about in 2014 due to the wait-time crisis that was occurring
in VA facilities across the country (The American Legion Magazine, December
2017). It allowed for access to private
sector care for veterans that faced a wait of more than 30 days for care or who
lived more than 40 miles from a VA care facility.
CARE will drop the 30 day/40 mile requirement and allow VA
providers to discuss options with patients and decide if non-VA care is the
best option for the veteran. This is
exciting news for our community. Our
local VA providers will have a greater ability to refer to private sector
providers. As a veteran patient, you
will now be able to discuss your desire to be seen in the community with your
VA provider and you will not be constrained by the 30 day/ 40 mile requirement.
The VA is making strides in modernizing the care veterans
receive. One of the ways they are doing
this is by including non-VA providers in veterans’ care. As a veteran myself, and having done my last
rotation as an extern at the VAMC in Dallas, TX, I applaud their progress from
both the patient and provider perspective.
I hope these tidbits have been enlightening. Yours in health, Doc