1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

VA Health Care

Discussion in 'Military Pilots' started by Bear, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    75
    If and when you leave military service to pursue another career, insure you have a final comprehensive physical, access to you complete service health record and follow-up with a VA physical and enrollment.

    Enroll in the nation’s largest integrated health system and get care that’s personalized, proactive, and patient-driven.


    https://explore.va.gov/health-care?...&utm_content=healthcare-application-all-testa

    It was some time ago I did this, so I ask those who have recently enrolled with the VA to state their experiences.
     
  2. av8tr1

    av8tr1 "Never tell me the odds!"

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    LOL, I really don't want to weigh in on this but here goes. If ever there was an example of why the government needs to stay out of the medical industry the VA is it. Care is much more miss than hit. There are some great people working incredibly hard at the VA but their are a lot of weak links.

    At one point I had one of the medics from the marine barracks bombing as my PCP. Awesome guy, was very honored to have him taking care of me. Actually I felt really unworthy going to him. Here is a guy who had most of his hands blown off from a terrorist bomb and I'm there complaining about a stomachache. He'd smile and patiently listen to my complaining and offer real suggestions to help, Best care I ever got. Civilian or Military.

    I moved and got a new PCP, an idiot who diagnosed me with TB without actually examining me. Then told me I needed to stay home over the xmas holiday since I was a pilot and in and out of airport. So I asked for a note for my employer at the time and it was like I had pissed on her head. I ended up having to get the patient advocate and her management involved just for a note to avoid getting fired. Then it took two weeks for the expected negative results to come back. My "TB" was the flu, a very lite case. But hey I got to screw over my fellow pilots during xmas sitting at home in a face mask watching TV, so I had that going for me.

    Another time I had a medical student providing my care while the actual doctor reviewed his diagnoses remotely while he "supervised" a number of other students because the VA could not find enough doctors. So they offer to pay for students medical school if they commit to the VA for a few years.

    The VA spends a ton of money making these giant castles of a testament to patient care but what they really need to do is focus on getting some smart people into the front line.

    To see a specialist takes 6 months. I'm 9 months into a wait to see one. When my 6 months came around I was stuck on a trip and had to reschedule again. They were able to reschedule but not for another 3 months.

    I have veterans choice which allows me to go to a civilian doctor but it's dependent on the wait for the VA doctor. And apparently specialists don't count. And then when you get approval to see an outside specialist the VA will not share any patient history so the outside specialist has no clue what to do. So they see you one time and send in a report for follow up care and it gets lost in the patient file never to be seen by the PCP.

    I am very fortunate to have the VA available to me at no cost (well other than the blank check I wrote the US years ago that got cashed with me getting injured) but there has got to be a better way to do this. I'd be happy with an allowance that I could use to choose my own doctor on my terms.
     
    A Life Aloft likes this.
  3. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    75
    Will Congress act / fund the replacement for Choice, titled the Veterans Coordinated Access and Rewarding Experiences (CARE) Program. http://www.moaa.org/Content/Publica...-to-Replace-VA--Choice--With--Care--Plan.aspx

    As to "VA will not share any patient history so the outside specialist", review https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-por...are-data-for-better-care?inheritRedirect=true if it applies.

    Also, do you have a https://www.myhealth.va.gov account? thus access to your VA health data.
     
  4. av8tr1

    av8tr1 "Never tell me the odds!"

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    I have a my health account. The VA has never updated it.
     
  5. SkyDogSilver

    SkyDogSilver Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    8
    During my military time it was discovered I had a condition that would affect my flight status and would require tests and eventually a waiver. Thankfully I was able to put my civilian flying on hold since the military was paying me well enough. This process ended up tying me up for over a year.

    The kicker that solidified my opinion of never using the VA Healthcare system for anything - an appointment with a "doctor" at an on base hospital where after explaining that I needed a doctor to review all the numerous tests, results, and documentation as decide and sign off that I was still of sound enough health to continue flying - military and with also ramifications on my civilian sector employment as well. Up to this point I had never had an indicating health issue suggesting I wasn't fit to fly, had spent over 3 years on flight status, not to mention the years prior in the civilian world with numerous flight physicals. Additionally my records had been reviewed, scrutinized, shuffled, and reshuffled by numerous doctors, even by some of the best heart folks at BAMC and the civilian heart places, tests and retests, and every type of test they could think of and I passed each and every one with flying colors (pun intended). All I needed was a signature on the dotted line. This CPT looks me straight in the eyes and tells me "I don't give a *I don't have the education to emote without using a curse word* if you fly or not. I'm not signing this because I don't want to." It took another month of paperwork limbo to clean that cluster up, but was eventually cleared back onto flight status.

    I can only sigh and chuckle each and every time I hear the fanfare of (insert new politicians name here) has revamped the VA and it's improving / better than ever. When better than nothing is still nothing, it's an infinite loop of circle jerking. But that's just my opinion, and YMMV, but I have yet to see any indication that things have improved enough to put my now purely civilian side flying career in the hands of the VA. No matter how "free" it is.
     
    A Life Aloft and av8tr1 like this.
  6. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    75
    One military MD
    does not define a Health Network. I fully support your freedom of medical care choices, which for millions of Vets that had NONE until the 1990s, with then the creation of a Primary Care system open to all Vets.
     
  7. SkyDogSilver

    SkyDogSilver Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    8
    I stated that that experience was the final straw for me, personally. There are other interactions and experiences that I had within the VA that were less than savory. This one in particular opened my eyes enough to see the danger of letting the VA system be in a position that could potentially destroy both sides of my career with one unconcerned, and erroneous, swoop. Other instances it was frustrating, yes, but in the end it was a "shrug, what can you expect when it's free, and fill out the comment (ICE) card and hope it makes a difference".

    But with that said I strongly feel that there is too much ineptitude within the system and year after year hearing a new/different political talking head state that they are the new and improved VA, I only sigh and roll my eyes. There are other healthcare systems out there in the world to study, dissect apart to try to emulate, but the VA seems stubbornly stuck, refusing to learn lessons from previous failures and shortcomings, or applying changes to incorrect areas and/or issues.

    While I agree with you that it is better than the healthcare options available prior, I think "We used to not provide band-aids, so here's a band-aid and be thankful we even gave you that" is not good enough of an answer.

    I am not here to be confrontational, or steer this thread off course. Just simply putting my opinion and experiences out there.

    So in short - I'm glad I have employer provided health coverage. By all means, if one does not have options, the VA is available to utilize. I strongly recommend thinking long and hard before letting the VA provide or continue to provide healthcare if one wishes to continue within the aviation industry back on the civilian side once they come to the end of their service.
     
    av8tr1 likes this.
  8. tattooguy21

    tattooguy21 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    26
    Fair enough. One not good enough for you, I'll put out the names of the major in Korea in 2010 that grounded 27 pilots her first two months as the PMC for an aviation bn because she didn't know where to find the previously approved waivers.

    How about the 3 flight docs I got passed around to at Fort Rucker that I saw for the same issue, but each had a different requirement for what would get me back up as an aviator. After a meeting with the chief of avn med, I got my upslip and an apology for, as he put it, "their gross incompetence."

    Hell, we're on a roll. You give me the duty station, and I'll give you the horror story or I'll find one.

    I get it, it was far worse/non-existent once upon a time.....But your comments kinda like being thankful for being punched in the face everyday instead of being kicked in the dick.
     
    SKYROCK, av8tr1, Lawman and 1 other person like this.
  9. Lawman

    Lawman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    2,596
    Likes Received:
    2,924
    Conversation between my at the time 6 month pregnant wife and the ER personnel at Evans Army Medical at Fort Carson....

    Wife - my hands just started swelling and I can't feel my fingers. I think something might be wrong

    24hr Nurse call line - It might be a stroke. We can make you an appointment with your PC provider in a couple weeks, or if you like you can go to the ER.

    Wife is later admitted to the ER where she waits 3 hours of "it might be a stroke" to discover the reason her hands don't work is pregnancy induced carpel tunnel. Between that and my experiences with that hospital thank god our kid wasn't born there.

    My father spent 20 years working in Air Force medical as a tech. His favorite joke was what do you call the guy that graduated last in med school........


    Captain.
     
  10. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    75
    well, “Nothing's too good for our military."
     
  11. Lawman

    Lawman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    2,596
    Likes Received:
    2,924
    It's especially comforting to know that our medical care is so good malpractice claims are a thing of the past.

    Not because we don't have people screwed up by crappy doctors/care, but because we aren't allowed to sue them.

    <---- Continued training with a "sprained ankle" for 2 weeks before somebody finally ordered an expat and discovered my foot was broken,
     
    A Life Aloft and av8tr1 like this.
  12. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    75
    As I noted, it was years ago I last used a military clinic/hospital. Your lack of treatment was criminal malpractice, medically trained docs and staff who clearly didn't give a crap of outcomes, dereliction of the total military chain of command that tolerated military personnel and their families being provided less than 'nothing' health care. What were your responses, i.e. with your chain of command, letters to Congressional reps ....

    No comfort to you, my experiences with the VA in the northeast has all been positive, and for many former service men and women access to care they had not had previously.
     
  13. av8tr1

    av8tr1 "Never tell me the odds!"

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    As I said in my post above there are some great hard working people in the VA but you're more likely to get the other guys. We need that dynamic changed. No organization is going to be perfect but when it comes to our veterans who are owed such a significant debt we need to do better.
     
  14. Lawman

    Lawman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    2,596
    Likes Received:
    2,924
    That's just the point though, the medical facilities on military posts don't answer to the chain of command.

    Even IG can do barely anything against the monolith that is military health care because it's so interspersed with civilian/contract providers, and tricare answers to no one.

    It took my wife 7 months to get a knee surgery after a car accident. That was after 2 different military doctors who weren't orthopedist told her she didn't need one. We finally paid out of pocket to have a specialist look at it, so we could take his opinion to fight tricare and we almost lost.

    Whenever anybody talks about how great a single payer government run accountable to it's self health care system would be I cringe.
     
    av8tr1 and OffRdX like this.
  15. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    75
    From your (and av8tr1 and OffRdX if they choose) experience / knowledge, which
    has provided quality responses, care and affordability?
     
  16. av8tr1

    av8tr1 "Never tell me the odds!"

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Private healthcare. Being able to pick the best doctor available for my care has proven to provide the best care. I've had to pay for it but it's worth it. Usually my private healthcare has allowed me at extra cost to go outside of network. The VA never let's me do that.

    I recognize not everyone can pay for better care. I don't know how to solve that problem and it is a problem. Everyone should have access to some healthcare. Being poor shouldn't be a death sentence. But I am not for federalizing the American healthcare system or a single payer system.

    Which brings us back to topic. The VA is the perfect example of a single payer system. Yep, everyone gets access to healthcare but it is no longer a commodity and service is to the lowest common denominator.
     
    Lawman and A Life Aloft like this.
  17. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    75
    On this issue of
    , if health care was always a deliberate process of choices, yet in the most unexpected critical of times we really don't get to choose treatment(s), with docs and hospitals not of our choosing making life altering decisions beyond our control. I'm a BIG believer in proactive care, and for me the VA has worked, catching issues before reactive care might have been necessary. We're both are fortunate access is not the issue. Millions are not.
     
  18. av8tr1

    av8tr1 "Never tell me the odds!"

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    I agree millions need healthcare. Separate issue to our topic though.

    However you are one of the fortunate who the VA has worked for. As pointed out others have not been so fortunate. 100% is the only acceptable goal here. Not good healthcare for some and mediocre for others.

    If we expected the same from our soldiers were would we be? Now don't we need to do the same for our veterans?
     
  19. SKYROCK

    SKYROCK Frank Poole - Astronaut

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    97
    I don't have much to add but the local hospital is sending me bills for an 800 dollar Ativan during a panic attack.

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark - Dr. Sum Ting Wong.
     
  20. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    75
    Considering in 2017, fewer Americans are qualified to serve, fewer are actual serving, as a selected fewer have repeatedly carried the actual combat/combat support role in regions of active conflict. The number of current vets from the guard, reserve and active forces now arriving at the VA will quickly outnumber all previous vets, and pose new needs .. will the POTUS and Congress understand and respond to those needs with innovative care. Will see ...
     

Share This Page