Replies part II: Dealing with the VA for orthotic care, and important links

Posted By: Kevin Matthews on June 4, 2012

There are many people doing good things on our behalf. Followin
 There are many people doing good things on our behalf.  Following are a couple very informative and important links.  Please join the effort and follow progress.  This affects all our futures.   A link to a page at NAAOP website to view more details about the VA Bill of rights and how to TAKE ACTION now: More replies: > >I work at a different VA, and we know many have the same rules but are run differently.The way we do it is that each patient must be seen by a VA physician to write a consult/script for the device, and then the prosthetics dept gives them their choices of location. We try hard to make sure they are seen at the most convenient location for them.  If your VA is having low productivity, the practitioners may be trying to keep patients in-house to show more productivity, but they should never "HAVE" to come to the VA as long as they've already received their prescription.Our VA is very focused on putting patients absolutely first, and I wish all of them were the same. This sounds fishy and there is no reason that I am personally aware of that these patients can't be seen at your clinic anymore, judging only from the few facts that we have here.I hope communications open up and your patients realize their rights to continue seeing whomever is most
convenient for them, which in many cases is an outside vendor.Good Luck!**********************  >Good afternoon Kevin,I'm hearing more and more about VA policy vs. practice, and it's always very discouraging.  For what it's worth, I think the problems you have mentioned will continue to be with us and our VA clients/patients.  I suspect that the VA will more often resort to the argument  that they can provide quality care at a reduced expense or cost, and it will be difficult for us to prove otherwise.******************************** >Kevin, you are not alone.  They recently had Senate hearings on this very issue with veterans complaining about being told they had to use "in-house" prosthtists/orthotists.  Contact NAAOP and AOPA, everyone needs to stay on top of this. >All the best, >******************************* >On one hand I agree with you, on the other I'm beginning to be frustrated by the anti-VA sentiment that I have seen on the List-Serv lately.  It is the VA's right to do work in house.  Why would they staff certified prosthetist/orthotists and not allow them to see Veterans in house?  It makes sense to me that their practitioners would try to keep work in house, rather than refer everything to private facilities. > > >With that said, it is the Veteran's right to be seen by their preferred practitioner.  I believe it is our responsibility to ensure that Veterans know their rights as a patient.  Before sending a Veteran to the VA for evaluation of a device, there are two things we should be informing our patients of.  First, it is their right as a Veteran to receive care at any facility they choose, either in house or private practice.  Second, if they are given the run around or being pressured to see someone other than their preferred practitioner, give your patients the phone number for patient advocacy.  It has been my experience that nothing happens faster at the VA than getting a response from patient advocacy. >************************************ >Good Luck Kevin.I would like our Agencies to be taking on more of this role but we are under organized as a whole in  this industry.Best Regards >******************************* >  >We have had the same problems. My practice manager has been told that the VA is trying to do everything in house to cut costs. >****************************** >Kevin C. Matthews, CO/LOAdvanced Orthopedic Designs12315 Judson Rd. #206San Antonio, Texas 78233210-657-8100210-657-8105 [E-mail Address Removed]

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