As the following Huffington Post Article documents, problems within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) continue to dominate the news, attract Congressional scrutiny, and, unfortunately, hurt the legitimacy of the agency in the eyes of the veterans it serves.
While press coverage and Congressional scrutiny is an important step, constructive problem-solving requires solutions and not simply identifying the issues. One private medical facility, Cooper University Health Care, has begun proactive measures to ensure that veterans in seven Southern New Jersey counties have access to timely healthcare. According the linked ABCNews Article, Cooper University Health Care has promised same-day primary care appointments and treatment for veterans in Southern New Jersey, effective July 1, 2014. In appears, that Cooper will resolve issues regarding medical insurance reimbursement through the VA, Medicaid/Medicare, or private insurance after treatment. Cooper has announced — according to ABCNews — that they will absorb the costs if reimbursement is not otherwise available.
Particularly in rural areas and locations around the country where the veteran population density as exceeded the capacity for the VHA to timely and adequately provide full healthcare coverage, participation with private medical treatment facilities will be critical moving forward. I applaud Cooper University Health Care for taking the initiative.