Lack Of Access To Care In Rural Areas Particularly Hard For Veterans
There are veterans who are making hours-long car trips just to get chemotherapy treatment. Pilot programs, such as offering van rides to those who don't have transportation, are being instituted across the country, but funding for them can be tight to nonexistent. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump praises a new telehealth program to try to address that problem.
For Rural Veterans, New Approaches To Health Care
While long drives and limited access to health care are familiar burdens for many rural residents, the problem is particularly acute for veterans in those areas. They are far older than other rural residents, and far more likely to be disabled, meaning more of them are in need of medical care. And there are a lot of them—one in four veterans lives in rural areas, compared to one in five adults in the general population, according to 2015 census data. (Fifield, 8/3)
Trump Touts Veterans Affairs 'Tele-Health' Program With New Appointment Scheduling Application
President Trump touted a new program to increase veterans' electronic access to medical care as part of a broader tele-health push at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The initiative connects veterans with health providers via mobile phones or computers, and is intended to improve medical care especially for those needing mental health and suicide prevention services, Trump said. (Przybyla, 8/3)
In other veterans' health care news —
New Poll Results Fuel Fresh Debate Around Future Of VA's Choice Program
A new poll shows veterans overwhelmingly support reforms to the VA's coveted health care program, but others say it's another attempt to advance efforts to privatize the VA, further fueling the brewing debate around the program itself. The poll, from the conservative veterans organization Concerned Veterans for America, shows that 98 percent of veterans polled and 95 percent of registered voters polled believe veterans should have greater ability to choose health care options outside the VA system. (Lowary, 8/3)
The Fiscal Times:
How Could The VA Make $5.5 Billion In Improper Payments Last Year?
[Missouri Sen. Claire] McCaskill, the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, says she is disturbed by the IG’s finding that the VA made $5.5 billion of improper payments in 2016 or $500 million more than the previous year. The IG’s report issued in May, said the improper payments, for the most part, were made through two VA health care programs last year: VA community care, which allows veterans to seek care in the private sector rather than go to a VA health center, and a program that helps the elderly and chronically ill. (Pianin, 8/3)