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VA announces call center for Choice Program billing issues

WASHINGTON (AFRNS) -- Veterans can now work directly with the Department of Veterans Affairs to resolve debt collection issues resulting from inappropriate or delayed Choice Program billing, said VA officials.

A Community Care Call Center has been set up for veterans experiencing adverse credit reporting or debt collection resulting from inappropriately billed Choice Program claims. Veterans experiencing these problems can call 877-881-7618 for assistance.

"As a result of the Veterans Choice Program, community providers have seen thousands of veterans," said Dr. David Shulkin, undersecretary for health. "We continue to work to make the program more veteran-friendly. There should be no bureaucratic burden that stands in the way of veterans getting care."

The new call center will work to resolve instances of improper veteran billing and assist community care medical providers with delayed payments.  Staff members are also trained and ready to work with the medical providers to expunge adverse credit reporting on veterans resulting from delayed payments to providers. VA officials urge veterans to continue working with their VA primary care team to obtain necessary health care services regardless of adverse credit reporting or debt collection activity.

VA officials acknowledge that delayed payments and inappropriately billed claims are unacceptable and have caused stress for veterans and providers alike.  The new call center is the first step in addressing these issues.  VA presented "The Plan to Consolidate Community Care" in October that outlines additional solutions to streamline processes and improve timely provider payment.

For more details about the Veterans Choice Program and VA's progress, visit: www.va.gov/opa/choiceact. Veterans seeking to use the Veterans Choice Program can call 866-606-8198 to find out more about the program, confirm their eligibility and schedule an appointment.  (Courtesy of VA)