Mr. Butts, Chairman of Honor Valor Courage Corporation has been involved with the Veterans Choice Program from the inception of the program in 2014.  The first programs were a total failure for the Veterans and well as the Doctors, Clinics and Hospitals from 2014 to 2017. 


Then under President TRUMP  the Choice program was reprograms and has been fully implemented and now usable for Veterans. Doctors,  Clinics and Hospitals as well as the Veterans Accountability ACT which finally allows the Veterans Administration to terminate bad actors for the Veterans Administration without the long process and without huge pensions that were the case before. This has been a very difficult journey for veterans, Doctors and Hospitals to navigate but it is now available to everyone. 


The new Choice Program can be a great benefit to all if implemented correctly. It can increase the revenue of the practice, clinics and hospital under the reimbursement from the Veterans Administration but only if your understand the complexity of the Veterans Administration reimbursement procedure and have a VA advocate consultant on your side to get payment without waiting the normal 90 to 120 days. 



 The original Choice Program 


VA Expands Choice Program Eligibility

Background

On August 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146) (Choice Act). Technical revisions to the Choice Act were made on September 26, 2014, when the President signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-175) and on December 16, 2014, when the President signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Public Law 113-235).

The Choice Act required VA to implement the Veterans Choice Program through an interim final rule, and on November 5, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published an interim final rulemaking. In that rulemaking, VA adopted a straight-line method for determining eligibility for the Program based on the distance between a Veteran’s place of residence and the closest VA medical facility.

On April 24, 2015, VA published a second interim final rule that changed the way VA measures distance for purposes of determining eligibility. VA now considers the distance a Veteran must drive to the nearest VA medical facility, rather than the straight-line or geodesic distance to such a facility. This results in an expansion of eligibility for the Choice Program.

VA is pleased to announce this expansion effective today.

Effective immediately, VA is also changing the mileage calculation for beneficiary travel. The change will ensure consistency in VA’s mileage calculations. The beneficiary travel mileage calculation will now be made using the fastest route instead of the shortest route.

Summary

A Veteran who meets threshold eligibility criteria may be eligible for the Choice Program based on the distance from his or her place of residence to the closest VA medical facility. VA previously determined eligibility based on place of residence using a straight-line measure of distance. VA is now using a driving distance measure.

For example: Under the new distance calculation, a Veteran who lives 40 miles or less, measured using a straight-line distance, from the nearest VA medical facility, but who needs to physically drive more than 40 miles to get there would be eligible for the Veterans Choice Program. Under the previous straight-line distance calculation, this Veteran would not have been eligible for the Program unless he or she was required to 2


How to become a Veterans Choice Program and/or Patient-Centered Community Care Provider

Non-VA Medical Care Program Fact Sheet for Interested Providers

The Veterans Choice Program, or Choice Program, is a temporary program that provides Veterans the ability to receive medical care in the community if VA cannot schedule an appointment within 30 days of the Veteran’s preferred date, or the date determined medically necessary by their provider, or if the Veteran resides more than 40 miles from their closest VA medical facility. It was authorized under the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 and provides $10 billion for non-VA medical care to eligible Veterans. The temporary program will end when the allocated funds are used or no later than August 7, 2017. The Choice Program does not impact existing VA health care or any other Veteran benefits.

VA has expanded its Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) contracts with Health Net Federal Services and TriWest Healthcare Alliance to include implementing the Choice Program. PC3 is a VA nationwide program to provide eligible Veterans access to certain medical care when the local VA medical facility cannot readily provide the care due to lack of an available specialist, long wait times, geographic inaccessibility, or other factors. PC3 has been the VA method of purchasing care in the community. The Choice Program supplements PC3 and allows coverage for more services for eligible Veterans and provides Veterans more flexibility in their choice to receive care in the community or through VA. 






Email Dennis M. Butts  at dbutts@honorvalorcourage.org 


CHOICE PROGRAM FOR VETERANS, DOCTORS, CLINICS AND HOSPITALS

CONSULTING