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Proposal Would Open Up Access to Non-VA Physicians for Veterans
By News Staff
Now, the VA is proposing to eliminate the restriction, thereby expanding a veteran's eligibility for non-VA care by community-based physicians, other health care professionals and facilities.
"The AAFP enthusiastically supports this step since it improves health care access for veterans and will allow the VA to better utilize resources," said AAFP Board Chair Glen Stream, M.D., M.B.I., of Spokane, Wash., in a Dec. 12 letter (2-page PDF; About PDFs) to the VA's director of regulations policy and management.
In the proposed rule, the VA said the health care industry increasingly has sought to reduce barriers to care by loosening restrictions on the provision of care, an assessment shared by the AAFP, according to Stream.
"While the VA continues to expand health care delivery options for veterans, the AAFP recognizes that the VA, like public and private insurers, is unable to provide all possible medical services at all VA-operated venues of care," Stream said.
Stream also urged the VA to "identify and remove additional barriers that inhibit the way community-based physicians are able to treat their patients who also happen to be veterans."
"Specifically, the AAFP urges the VA to reexamine a burdensome regulatory requirement that prescriptions for veterans must be written by a VA-affiliated health care professional for the veteran to obtain the prescription at the VA's discounted prices," he said.
VA Proposal Would Incorporate More Non-VA Physicians