Mudcat Café message #954043 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59685   Message #954043
Posted By: artbrooks
16-May-03 - 05:39 PM
Thread Name: BS: News on VA?
Subject: RE: BS: News on VA?
Mark, start by showing up at your closest VA medical care facility with your DD 214 in hand...my wife (who is looking over my shoulder) says you should call ahead. They will all have a health care coordinator, or somebody with those duties. You will be assigned a "primary care practitioner," who might be a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner rather than a physician...and they are just as good if not better. You'll be encouraged to get a base-line physical, which may, depending upon the patient load, take quite a while (6 months plus) to schedule. Depending on the particular facility's procedures, you may be issued a VA medical ID card while you are there, and that will expedite any visits you have to make to urgent care.

If you have any service connected disabilities, even if they don't bother you and they have no relation to whatever you need medical care for, make sure they know about it. Disabled vets get priority (sometimes).

VA care is not free. There is a copay for prescriptions...I pay $7 each for mine. There is a very complicated set of priorities, ranging from Priority One-100% service connected vet, to Priority Eight-non-service connected vet who makes a lot a money. The lowest priorites also have a co-pay for treatment ...something like $40 per visit.

Be patient with the bureaucracy...the system is paper-work oriented, which can put people off.