VA Tests Partnership With CVS To Reduce Veterans' Wait Times

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President Donald Trump signed into law on Wednesday the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act, which "eliminates the original sunset date on the Veterans Choice Program" and "gives veterans who are unable to schedule an appointment at a VA facility in a timely or convenient manner the ability to receive care from an eligible non-VA health care".

Patients can use the choice program if they lived more than 40 miles from a VA hospital or can't get an appointment within the span of 30 days.

The Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act was instituted under former President Barack Obama in 2014 after it was discovered that some service members were seeing perilously long wait times for care at government hospitals. He said Wednesday that the plan is due in the fall. We will continue working with our colleagues in the Senate and the new administration to follow through on our commitment to those who have borne the price of battle for our nation.

Mr. Shulkin has called on Congress to approve a more permanent solution to veterans' health care. "Our district is home to more veterans than any district in NY, and it is important that we do what we can to take care of our wounded warriors".

Media outlets had reported that VA medical centers were cutting off caregiver benefits to families, possibly violating the department's rules.

Mark Lucas, executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, commended Trump for upholding a campaign promise to make veterans a priority, but said more needed to be done.

Scott and Sutphin then met privately with VA Secretary David Shulkin after the ceremony.

Conservatives calling for privatization say the VA provides medical services to only about 45 percent of veterans, and they point to delays and inefficiencies dogging the current system.

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