I have the upmost respect for our military veterans. The sacrifices that were made for our country are far more than I can imagine. You gave everything to defend freedom and our great country is better for it. I am thankful and humbled by that selflessness. You deserve the best care our doctors have to offer and yet more often than not, that isn’t the case.
The VA system patient log has been backed up for years, not allowing the care or attention you need and deserve. Veterans with foot and ankle issues are being turned away from VA systems, and made to wait long periods of time to get an initial consult. Even after the long wait, patients often report more time spent in the waiting room than spent with the doctor. Rushed doctor evaluations often leave veterans with little answers and limited options.
This bottleneck problem has overwhelmed VA system and led to the VA Community Care program. While it opens up care options for veterans, it can often be slightly complicated as a patient navigating the system. So, we want to help.
First, let’s start with WHAT is it. The VA Community Care program allows for veterans to get a special authorization to see a private practice doctor when medical care is not available in a timely manner at the VA. Most veterans are aware of the program, so why is no one utilizing the service? The answer is because it’s complicated and confusing! Let us help provide a guide so you can be your own medical advocate.
- Start by making an appointment with the VA Primary Care Doctor. There you can request to be seen by a specific specialist like Dr. Barnett at Align Foot and Ankle or any other specific type of care of service that the VA has a long waitlist or service the VA does not provide in-house. The reason can be that the VA does not offer the service Dr. Barnett offers, or the service needed at the VA is backlogged.
- Once the Primary Care acknowledges the request, they will put in a request for an Offsite Authorization.
- The authorization will come from the VA Administration Office, not the Primary Care Doctor. At this step, we recommend you check up on this often to ensure the request doesn’t get stuck on someone’s desk. The squeaky wheel gets the oil!
- While the authorization is being processed, call the doctor of your choosing to schedule an appointment and provide them with your Primary Care Doctors info. NOTE: The Doctors office must have the authorization before you are seen for the service to be covered by your insurance. So be sure to schedule the appointment a few days out unless you already have the approved authorization.
- Once these steps are complete you can be seen and treated by the doctor of your choosing!
- Special Note: Office care is covered, but surgeries may require additional authorizations.
You fought for our country’s freedom & we will fight for YOU to get the best care available in these
great United States.
We would love the privilege of being your Foot and Ankle specialist. Dr. Barnett uses the latest technology in his office to get you back on your feet quickly. Grab a beverage and a snack, have a seat on our sofas & kick your feet up while you wait. Thank you for your service veterans.