Texas Hospitals to Take Backlog From Veterans Affairs
Gov. Rick Perry was set to announce Thursday efforts to identify Texas hospitals that are willing to take more patients out of backlogged Veterans Affairs facilities and to propose reimbursement through Medicare so providers are paid more quickly.
Several of the largest health systems in Texas — some of which already accept VA patients — have signed onto the idea, according to Perry aides. Perry’s plans would require the federal government’s approval.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a bill making it easier for veterans who have encountered delays getting initial visits to receive VA-paid treatment from local doctors instead. The House passed a similar measure Tuesday. Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said Perry’s proposal to the Veteran Affairs Department builds on those measures by identifying hospitals “willing to step up” and offering a solution to slow reimbursements for providers.
Federal data released this week showed that VA facilities in Texas have some of the longest wait times for veterans trying to see a doctor for the first time. The FBI has now launched an investigation into the Veteran Affairs Department amid allegations of falsified records and inappropriate scheduling practices.
The Associated Press received details of Perry’s plans ahead of his planned announcement at Fort Hood, where he will attend a groundbreaking for a new medical facility specializing in mental health treatment.