VETERAN’S NEWS From the Internet
Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, DAV, VFW Dept. of Oklahoma, PRO/Editor
Student Veteran Support – Today’s veterans can face any number of obstacles while furthering their education. Taking advantage of all the benefits you’ve earned and DESERVE shouldn’t be one of them! This is why we have teamed up with Student Veterans of America and Sport Clips Haircuts to provide the assistance you need.
Scholarships – The VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” provides service members and veterans with the financial assistance they need to complete their educational goals without incurring excessive student loan debt. It’s just another way for us to say “thank you” to those who fought for our freedoms.
- Scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded to qualified applicants; Awarded scholarships are limited to one per family per semester; Applications for the fall semester will be accepted January 1 through April 30; Applications for the spring semester will be accepted August 1 through November 15; Fall semester scholarships will be awarded in August, and spring semester scholarships will be awarded in January; Scholarships must be used by the end of the school semester for which the veteran is applying or they will become null and void; Scholarships are restricted for tuition and fees only and will be paid directly to accredited schools.
Eligible Applicants Must:
- Be a citizen of the United States; Be retired, honorably discharged, active duty, or a member of the National Guard or Reserve; Have completed Basic Training and follow-on training (Advanced Individual Training, technical school, etc.); Separated with or currently hold a military rank of E-5 or below; Demonstrate a need for financial assistance; Participate in, be accepted to or currently enrolled in a VA-approved program or school at an accredited post-secondary institution.
POSITIVE THINGS! The Tinker AFB Clinic is starting a new process to help speed processing and cut wait times for medications! Town hall meetings had great info! It all starts May 1st!
Bills would expand VA telehealth services across state lines By: Leo Shane III,April 25, 2017
WASHINGTON — Telehealth services for veterans have expanded dramatically in recent years, but a group of lawmakers worries that federal rules governing that remote care haven’t kept up.
On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of House members and senators reintroduced legislation designed to boost access for veterans by easing those rules, arguing that patients in rural areas or facing travel difficulties are being disadvantaged by outdated regulations.
“This is allowing our veterans to access VA health care across state lines,” said Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and a National Guard veteran. “That is so important, because there may be a specialist (somewhere) right now that they don’t have access to.
“This would allow those veterans, in the comfort of their own home, to be able to consult with a physician, over the phone or the internet.”
The legislation amid a years-long push from the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand medical access and appointments to a growing list of patients, and amid continued criticism that the bureaucracy can’t keep up with demand.
In 2015, the VA conducted 2.14 million telehealth visits, reaching more than 677,000 veterans. But supporters of the efforts say even more patients could benefit.
Under current law, VA doctors can provide treatment via the phone or internet chat services for a host of routine appointments, including some mental health services.
But the rules bar physicians from providing those services across state lines, unless both the veteran and the doctor are located in federal facilities. That limits the telehealth options for individuals in remote areas, like Alaska and Hawaii, and still forces many veterans to travel significant distances to get to an approved facility.
The bills introduced in the House and Senate would change that, allowing veterans to receive remote care anywhere, including a home or nearby community center.
Brownley is co-sponsoring the House legislation with Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., whose son serves in the Army. Ernst’s mirror legislation in the Senate is co-sponsored with Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who serves on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The group is hopeful the bipartisan, bicameral push will advance the legislation this session. Last year, similar efforts stalled in Congress. Ernst called it a common sense measure.
“Many of (my colleagues) don’t know you can’t do home telehealth over state lines, and are asking, ‘Well, why not?’” she said. “And I’m saying, ‘exactly, that’s why we’re doing this bill.’”
The bills would change some monitoring and oversight rules regarding VA telehealth program, requiring VA to provide more information on the effectiveness of current offerings. No hearings have yet been scheduled for the measures.
From Lisa Mussett, Field Services Representative I, Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims and Benefits, Southeast Region Area 8 Itinerant, ODVA Cell #918-348-9648
VA has learned that a phone line was set up by an unknown party to potentially “mimic” the Choice line.
Choice line 1-866-606-8198 “Mimic” line 1-800-606-8198.
The “mimic” line may be intended to reach Veterans who inadvertently dial incorrectly. It has been reported the other number offers callers a $100 rebate if the caller provides a credit card. And the “mimic” number does not state callers have reached U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the Choice line, HOWEVER, callers have reported the “mimic” number incorrectly confirms callers had reached the Choice Program if the caller asks that question.
If you know of Veterans who are trying to contact the VA Choice Program, please make sure to refer them to 1-866-606-8198.