Magazine article VFW Magazine

VA Endorses Choice Card Program

Magazine article VFW Magazine

VA Endorses Choice Card Program

Article excerpt

VA's No. 2 man said in November that his department will fully implement a program to get more veterans into health care appointments quicker. Sloan Gibson, VA's deputy secretary, told lawmakers Nov. 18 that the VA Choice and Accountability Act (Choice Program) and its option of private care will be an important method of delivering health care to veterans.

"These efforts won't just improve the way we do community care, they will make community care part of the fabric of VA care, making VA a truly integrated health care system," Gibson told the House VA Committee.

The Choice Program, enacted into law in August 2014 in the wake of VA's wait-time crisis, offers veterans who live farther than 40 miles from a VA facility or can't get a VA appointment within 30 days the option of private medical care.

To get the program operating correctly, Gibson said VA would need $421 million for Oscal year 2016 and it would cost between $400 million to $600 million annually. …

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