Contact Magazine ran a very disturbing article a few days ago.
It seems that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not increased the fees it will pay doctors to treat veterans since 2012. Consequently, veterans are being turned away by doctors:
The AMA’s bottom line was that doctors were not obliged to accept DVA cards for payment – and, in fact, the AMA said they had long been aware that an ever-increasing number of medical-service providers were refusing DVA cards for payment.
Warwick Hough, Director of the AMA’s General Practice and Workplace Policy Department said the problem was that DVA’s fee schedule had been frozen since 2012, but even before that, DVA generally paid a lower fee for services than a medical practitioner would otherwise charge…
…The doctor who refused to take me on as a DVA patient phoned me to directly explain his position.
He said his current policy was not to accept any new DVA patients where a DVA card was the preferred payment method, simply because DVA did not pay a fair and reasonable fee.
He also said that he was legally barred from charging veteran clients a ‘gap’ under a DVA-payment arrangement, even if they were willing.
If true, this is outrageous.
Veterans who serve this nation are entitled to have their health care costs met by the government for injuries that they have sustained in uniform. It appears, for many years, this has not been occurring, particularly where mental health treatment is required.