A second round of Choice Cards has been mailed to veterans who have been waiting 30 or more days from their preferred date or date determined medically necessary for care. The Choice Card acts as a type of temporary benefit that allows veterans to obtain care through non-VA community health care providers when their local VA clinics and hospitals have exceptionally long wait lists.
The first round of Choice Cards went out earlier in November, and now another round is making its way through the mail to waiting veterans. The Choice Card program is part of an overall campaign to reduce veterans’ wait times for care and improve service delivery. In many areas where VA facilities have not been able to keep up with patient demand, the Choice Card program is allowing veterans to be seen by medical professionals in a more timely manner.
More than 1.2 million more appointments were scheduled between June and October 2014 than in the same period in 2013. More than 1.1 million non-VA care appointments have been authorized, a 47 percent increase from last year. Many VA clinics are open longer hours and adding weekend and evening hours at clinics that were traditionally open only during weekdays.
The VA is the largest integrated health care system in the U.S. with over 1,700 facilities serving approximately nine million veterans. Obtaining regular care is an important part of seeking veterans’ disability benefits. The VA looks for the records of when a condition is diagnosed and how it has progressed over the years in order to determine a disability rating for a disabled veteran.
At the Veterans Help Group Disability Advocate Group, our representatives advocate for veterans who have been denied benefits by the VA. If you would like one of our representatives to review your case, contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today for a no cost, no obligation consultation – 1-855-855-8992.