Community Care Call Center to Help Veterans with Choice Program Billing Issues Announced by VA
March 18, 2016 03:32 PM
On Monday, March 14, 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a Community Care Call Center to assist veterans with resolving adverse credit reporting or debt collection issues resulting from inappropriate or delayed Choice Program billing.
“There should be no bureaucratic burden that stands in the way of Veterans getting care,” said Dr. David Shulkin, Under Secretary for Health. “We continue to work to make the program more Veteran-friendly.”
Last year, reports surfaced of veterans across the country facing delays and denials in services. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) received reports of VA denying authorizations and renewal authorizations of home health and other services due to funding shortages. NAHC contacted VA officials along with Congressional staff responsible for VA health care, reporting the problems facing veteran’s in need of home care. Overall, VA health care has been in the spotlight with repeated instances of care access problems and quality of care concerns. The home care issues are another example of those problems.
VA has acknowledged that “delayed payments and inappropriately billed claims are unacceptable and have caused stress for Veterans and providers alike.” In October 2015, VA proposed a plan to consolidate community care programs and business processes, as well as consolidating all purchased care programs into one New Veterans Choice Program (see previous NAHC Report article here and here).
According to VA, “the new call center will work to resolve instances of improper Veteran billing and assist community care medical providers with delayed payments. VA staff are also trained and ready to work with the medical providers to expunge adverse credit reporting on Veterans resulting from delayed payments to providers.VA is urging Veterans to continue working with their VA primary care team to obtain necessary health care services regardless of adverse credit reporting or debt collection activity.”
For more details about the Veterans Choice Program and VA’s progress, visit: www.va.gov/opa/choiceact.