VETERAN’S NEWS From the Internet
Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, VFW Dept. of Oklahoma, Public Affairs Officer
VA Announces Veterans Coordinated Access & Rewarding Experiences (‘CARE’) Act
Replaces Current ‘30-day/40-mile’ System with Patient/Provider-centric Decision-making
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has presented the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees with the administration’s draft proposal of the Veterans Coordinated Access & Rewarding Experiences (CARE) Act, designed to improve Veterans’ experiences with and access to health care, building on the best features of VA’s existing community care programs and strengthening VA’s ability to furnish care in its facilities.
In order to meet Veterans’ needs quickly and in a way, that is easy to understand, the bill aims to:
Clarify and simplify eligibility requirements,
Set the framework for VA to continue to build a high-performing network,
Streamline clinical and administrative processes,
Implement new care coordination support for Veterans,
and Merge and modernize community care programs.
“We want Veterans to work with their VA physicians to make informed decisions that are best for their clinical needs, whether in the VA or in the community, and this bill does just that, while strengthening VA services at the same time,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin.
The bill would replace the current wait-time and distance eligibility criteria under the Choice Program (“30-day/40-mile”) with criteria that:
Place the Veteran and his or her physician at the center of the decision process on how and where to get the best care available,
Ensure VA is improving medical facilities and staffing levels to meet Veterans’ needs in areas where VA care is substandard,
and Offer options for Veterans to use a network of walk-in clinics for minor illnesses and injuries.
The CARE Act also includes: Proposals for new workforce tools to assist in maintaining and strengthening VA’s world-class medical staff, A number of business process enhancements to improve financial management of the Community Care program, Provisions that would strengthen VA’s ability to partner with other federal agencies and streamline VA’s real property management authorities. More information about access to care at the VA can be found at https://www.accesstocare.va.gov/.
Expect a 2 Percent COLA Increase: Social Security and VA compensation recipients, federal and military retirees, and their survivors should expect a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment in their January pay, according to data released by the Social Security Administration last Friday. This will be the highest COLA since 2012. Last year’s was 0.3 percent, the year before was zero, and 2013-2015 averaged 1.6 percent.
Desert Storm War Memorial Site Selection Update: The Commission on Fine Arts met yesterday to further narrow the number of potential sites for the new National Desert Storm War Memorial. The process began with 18 possible sites, which was whittled to six and then three. It was anticipated that yesterday’s meeting would reduce the number to two, but the commissioners voted to keep the number at three, and require even more site feasibility research. Of the three potential sites, one is along the Potomac River and the other on E Street between the White House and State Department. The preferred site, which the VFW and the memorial foundation supports, is in a vacant corner section of Constitution Avenue and 23rd Street, NW. This location is adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial and its yet-to-be-built Vietnam War Educational Center, and is within easy walking distance of the District of Columbia’s World War I Memorial, the National WWII Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. The VFW’s support of the Desert Storm War Memorial is through the passage of Resolution 305 at the 115th VFW National Convention in St. Louis. To date, the VFW is the only national veterans’ organization to contribute significant financial support toward its construction, a pledged $500,000.
By the way, if you want to complain, add your support, or have something you want added to this article contact me at 580-271-0897 or Email me at BobKinsler@aol.com. This is the veterans’ news and if you have something let me know, please.