Hoeven: VA Must Have Systems in Place to Ensure Timely Medical Appointments for Veterans

Senator Continues Working to Implement Pilot Project in Fargo, Develop Model for the Nation

WASHINGTON – During a recent hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Senator John Hoeven pressed officials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to address issues within the agency’s national scheduling system for non-VA medical care. Hoeven stressed the rapid growth of non-VA care and the importance of having modernized information technology systems in place that can ensure veterans receive timely appointments.

“Whether a veteran goes to a VA Medical Center, a community-based outpatient VA clinic or a private provider, we need to make sure they are receiving their appointments in a timely fashion,” Hoeven said. “Now, in North Dakota, we are implementing a pilot project to do just that, which should be in place this fall. That will allow veterans to go directly to their local VA to schedule their Veterans Choice appointments, rather than going through the third party administrators. We know the Fargo VA is ready to do this work, and we believe it will serve as a model to address scheduling issues around the country.”

Earlier this year, Hoeven secured a pilot project at the Fargo VA Medical center to address scheduling and service issues with the Veterans Choice Program. Hoeven continues working to implement the project, which could serve as a national model. At the same time, the senator continues his efforts to facilitate greater health care services for veterans in both rural and urban communities by allowing the VA to enter into provider agreements with qualified hospital, medical and extended care providers.