After two bills enacted into law that require the Veterans Administration to let our veterans get appointments outside the VA rather than wait interminable time periods to see a VA doctor, the problem has gotten worse. Now there’s a wait period at the VA to get those outside appointments—because the VA must give permission for the outside appointment rather than standing and delivering. It’s especially bad at the Shreveport, LA, VA hospital, but it’s not unique to that place.
The VA requires a referral to see an outside doctor and the process is cumbersome—a request goes back and forth several times between the VA and Tri-West, the program administrator. Part of the chain requires someone to send Tri-West the veteran’s medical history and no one is assigned to that job at [Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, the Shreveport place]….
Why there needs to be the back-and-forth between the VA and Tri-West is as much a mystery as is the requirement for VA permission to go elsewhere to get the health care the VA will not or cannot provide.
Naturally, the VA ain’t talkin’ about this. It is being cynically evasive, though.
The VA declined several requests by Fox News to comment on why Overton Brooks had this latest wait-list and why the VA requires numerous layers of approval to create each appointment. Instead, spokeswoman Jessica Jacobsen stated, “Improving patient access to care is a priority for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). And while there are pending Care in the Community appointments for some Shreveport-area Veterans, Veterans requiring urgent care receive priority appointments.”
Weasel words. And: on what basis, given VA failures, failure rate, and continued lack of transparency, should anyone conclude that “priority appointments” mean anything other than being bumped to first in line to be delayed?
Veteranos Administratio delende est.