Back in August, we wrote about the new Veterans’ Choice Cards that are supposed to be issued starting November 5th. The Veterans’ Choice Cards are going to enable veterans who live more than 30 miles from a VA or related facility, or who cannot obtain an appointment within the designated waiting period, to receive care from either another government provider or a civilian provider. Unfortunately, it appears that the VA is not going to be able to meet this deadline.
As of this date, the VA is still working to get the very complex program set up. In order to implement the program, the VA must either purchase or construct the knowledge and staff to run it, write the regulations to cover it, and figure out how to keep track of providers and the care given, including making sure that medical records get returned to the VA to ensure continuity of care.
A 90-day deadline to accomplish all this does seem unrealistic. After all, this is a huge bureaucracy we’re talking about, and they are more used to moving at a snail’s pace rather than Mach 1. We’ll stay on top of this and let you know as soon as we hear about a new release date.