RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

Veterans Emergency Care Fairness Act

Posted by Service Officer on February 15th, 2008

When a veteran needs emergency medical treatment, the VA allows that veteran to go to the nearest private or community hospital. Once the veteran is stabilized, the veteran must then be transferred to a VA hospital for any necessary continued care. The problem arises when there is a wait for a bed in a VA hospital. Current law does not require the VA to reimburse the hospital for the care given after the point of stabilization. In rural areas, the problem with the current law is particularly pronounced. Often, a patient may be deemed stable but is not necessarily stable enough to make ambulance trips traveling long distances. More specifically, the Veterans Emergency Care Fairness Act of 2007:

• Requires (under current law, authorizes) the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to reimburse certain veterans without a service-connected disability enrolled as active participants of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care plan for the cost of emergency treatment received in a non-VA facility until such time as such veterans are transferred to a VA facility.

• Requires (under current law, authorizes) the Secretary to reimburse certain veterans with a service-connected disability or a non-service-connected disability associated with or aggravating a service-connected disability for the value of emergency treatment for which such veterans have made payment from sources other than the VA.

Thus, HR 3819 would simply close that loophole and require the VA to reimburse the private hospital for care. Those interested in seeing this legislation become law should contact their legislator and request his/her support of the bill. A suggested editable letter with automatic transmission means can be found at http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=10912651&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id] to assist in this endeavor. [Source: USDR Action Alert 1 Feb 08 ++]

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