$16.3 Billion VA Funding Bill Allows Veterans Access To Private Doctors

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Last week Congress approved a $16.3 billion funding bill aimed at increasing the level of care provided to Veterans at private health care facilities. According to Medical Economics, “the bill, which is now on President Obama’s desk for signature, provides $10 billion in funding for veterans to receive care at private facilities, if they are unable to obtain an appointment within 30 days or if they live more than 40 miles away from a VA facility.”

The new bill will require veteran centers to make changes. The adoption of telemedicine will need to improve, and new performance metrics will be implemented to gauge physician performance. Approximately $5 billion of the new funding will go towards filling the large demand for physicians, and decreasing the long wait times. The new funding comes at a critical time for the VA, as a recent investigation found “56,000 veterans waited more than 90 days for an appointment and that employees at the VA had falsified documents to cover up wait times.”

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