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VA mulls merging health system with Pentagon’s

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is exploring merging its health system with the Pentagon’s,  in an apparent effort to get more vets into private-sector healthcare in order to save money. But veterans groups oppose such a plan, saying that it could threaten the economic and administrative viability of VA hospitals and clinics.

The merger would amount to merging the VA’s Choice and the military’s TRICARE private healthcare programs.

VA spokesman Curt Cashour told the Associated Press that the move  “provide better care for veterans at a lower cost,” but four of the largest veterans groups—the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS and Disabled American Veterans—oppose such a merger.

“VA is a healthcare provider and the VFW would oppose any effort to erode the system specifically created to serve the healthcare needs of our nation’s veterans by reducing VA’s role to a payer of care for veterans,” Bob Wallace, executive director of VFW’s Washington office, told the AP.

Mr. Cashour, for his part,  said that the merger idea reflects President  Trump’s  “businesslike, commonsense approach that rarely exists in Washington” and that such thinking is needed to transform how the federal government does business.

The VA  said last May that it may show more than 1,100 facilities in order to move more care into the private sector. Its Choice program has also been extended, letting vets who may not have nearby access to a VA facility to see private providers instead.

To read all the AP report, please hit this link.

To read a FierceHealthcare report on this, please hit this link.




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