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Choice Program

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    Posted: 05 Jan 2016 at 8:23am
The VA doesn't run the Veterans Choice program but has outsourced that job to two outside vendors, including Arlington, Va.-based Health Net Federal Services. (Ron; This is the company I have dealt with) In 2013, that company signed a five-year, $5.1 billion contract with the federal government to coordinate community-based care for veterans. Region vets do not make their Choice appointments directly with local hospitals but must have them scheduled through Health Net. "We've heard veterans calling those call centers have had delays in accessing their information," said Gene Migliaccio, deputy chief business officer for purchased care for the VA. "We're working with our vendors to ensure we're toward our goals of appointments within 30 days, scheduled within five." I called them this past week. (Ron; I was on hold for 32 minutes and then with a scheduler for 15 more.) I went to my VA and it took them 30 minutes to confirm my appointment with an outside vendor 120 miles away because my facility here does not do the procedure I needed on my eyes."

He also said Veterans Choice recently expanded its eligibility requirements to include such factors as the weather, the veterans' health status and how often they need the service in question. "We apologize for any frustrations veterans may have had with scheduling their appointments," said Brad Kieffer, a spokesman for Health Net. "Health Net Federal Services is committed to providing excellent service, and we are making some changes that we expect will improve our service. These improvements include adding staff and strengthening training to improve workflows and expedite the overall scheduling process."

(Ron; on a 1-10 basis I would rate the Choice Program a 6 now at best)
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