Posted on Feb 16, 2015
SGT Jim Z.
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According to veterans and some VA doctors the "choice card program" mean to reduce long patient wait times, is confusing and causing more stress.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/02/16/it-was-meant-to-reduce-wait-times-but-veterans-say-new-choice-cards-are-causing-more-problems/
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Responses: 4
Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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I have a Choice card.

I live in Stafford. I VA Med Center is Richmond (Where my records are located). It is 70~ miles from my house. The DC Med Center is 40~ miles from my house. There is a CBOC 20~ miles from my house.

When I tried to get my VHIC (Vet Health ID Card), I couldn't even get a straight answer about who could take my picture, until the 4th attempt.

As it stands now, I'll use my private insurance before I even try to use my VA coverage, rather than risk getting a bill from the VA.
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SPC Anna Larson
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Trying to use the choice card program definitely causes stress. One of my co-workers tried to get an appointment to refill his blood pressure meds through the VA. He called in April and needed an appointment by July when his prescription expired. The VA told him they couldn't get him in until August. He's located 60 miles from a VA clinic and 100 miles from a VA hospital. He asked for permission to use the choice card and even though he meets the distance from a VA facility, they told him he'd still have to wait the 30 days past appointment request date in order to be approved. It took him days to get the issue resolved so he could go to a local DR.
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SPC(P) Civil Affairs Specialist
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So I was just given access to this program and when told by the VA that it was to reduce wait times because they could not get me in in less than 30 days, I was excited. Then about a week later I was finally contacted by Vet Choice, who managed to book me a visit in about a month and a half... ahhh... .what's the point again?
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