Last week, the HCAOA VA Advisory Council met with a senior leadership team from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA officials acknowledged receipt of a chart of issues that the Council sent to the Department earlier in March as well as the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees. The chart outlines challenges that providers face working in the VA Community Care Network.
During last week’s meeting, the Council was able to secure a commitment from the VA to address the issues raised including setting up meetings with TriWest and Optum. HCAOA members voiced concerns regarding credentialing and contracting delays with Optum and TriWest, issuance of timely authorizations for care and other issues. Dr. Mark Upton, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Community Care in the Veterans Health Administration as well as a practicing VA physician, noted, “it is helpful for me as a leader to receive these types of comments.” The VA is committed to progress and improvement and assured the Council that this is the start of an ongoing dialogue.
Council Chair, Doug Robertson, added, “We were grateful to continue our discussions with the VA leaders today and appreciate their willingness to engage HCAOA and the network contractors to improve the home care experience for veterans and the agencies that serve them.”