From our Forums 03-32-2015
“I received my Veterans Choice Card back in November because the clinic I tried to get scheduled in was over the limit for new patients.
Back around the first of the year I tried to use it. Here’s how it went. When you call it is not the VA you are talking to – it’s some inept insurance company.
I requested to see a doctor as soon as possible. Nothing too dramatic, just that my blood pressure was way out of whack and I had a bad sinus infection. So I called the first week of January to try and get an appointment with a regular doctor. Veteran’s Choice Card (VCC) said they would call me back within 3 days.
By the 4th day I called again. This time I was told it could take up to 2 weeks. I waited another 2 weeks and never received a call back. So I called once again. First they told me that I never called, then I got transferred to someplace else a few times, and finally I got to someone who acknowledged that I did call a few weeks ago. They said they would figure out what was going on and get me an appoint.
It is now February. I call again. Same runaround. By the 23rd of February I finally called a local doctor and went it. I’ll just pay for it myself. The doctor I paid for out of my pocket ran some blood tests and found a few other things wrong.
At the end of the month VCC finally lets me know they have me scheduled. I keep the appointment and see what I would call probably one of the worst doctors I have seen in my 55 years on this planet. Totally ignored anything that I said, came up with the weirdest conclusions after seeing me for about 3 minutes. By that time my right arm and chest was in pain and she said it was bursitis or a gluten allergy. Sigh. She hands me a business card and refers me to an Orthopedist.
Prescriptions? No – she said I had to pay for them myself. She does not forward prescriptions to the VA.
The referral? I went there and have spine damage which is cutting off nerves. The 3rd world doctor that VCC sent me to didn’t go any of the paperwork right and now the VCC refuses to reimburse me for the close to $1000 in doctor fees that I have racked up so far just in the referral the VCC doctor sent me to. Apparently VCC doesn’t allow referrals unless it is run through their system and you are willing to wait another 3-6 months.
My sinus thing turned out to be acute sinusitis and I had to go to a different doctor and, once again, pay for it myself, to get it taken care of. They put me on steroids and antibiotics as it had spread into my lungs as well. The VCC doctor said it was just allergies, which was 100% wrong. Her diagnosis? Go to Walmart and buy some Claritin. I did – it didn’t do squat. I tried telling her it was not allergies and that I had been tested for everything possible in the past at some of top centers in the US, including the Mayo Clinic. Nope, she said. I think she tells every patient they are allergic to gluten. Maybe she gets kickbacks from the local funeral home.
Veteran’s Choice Card sucks. You folks are not missing out on anything by not having it. The VA clinics here in the area of Atlanta are great, they are just too backlogged to handle the load. I got stuck paying for the referrals and ended up also just going to another doctor to get what I had taken care of. “