KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

VA Secretary: Number Of Vets Being Referred To Private Doctors Is Rising

Robert McDonald tells American Veterans national convention that his department is quickly moving to significantly increase the number of veterans referred to doctors outside the system. Also, the department announces that veterans with Lou Gehrig's Disease will be eligible for a government housing program.

The Associated Press: VA Referrals To Private Doctors On Rise
The Department of Veterans Affairs is significantly increasing its referrals of veterans to private doctors following a scandal over lengthy patient waiting times at many VA hospitals and clinics and falsified appointment records, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said Wednesday. McDonald spoke to a few hundred people at the American Veterans national convention. He is scheduled to visit [Memphis'] VA hospital on Thursday (Sainz, 8/13).

The Hill: Soldiers, Vets With Lou Gehrig's Disease Win Housing Subsidies
Veterans and active-duty service members who suffer from Lou Gehrig's disease will have immediate access to a government-funded housing program under new rules from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA announced Wednesday that soldiers who suffer from Lou Gehrig's disease, formally known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), will be eligible for its specially adapted housing program. The housing program provides grants to soldiers with disabilities, now including ALS, so they can buy new homes or fix up homes they already own to accommodate their disabilities (Devaney, 8/13).

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