Bearing the health system private sector woos veterans in ads

Mar 25, 2016 | | Say something

Bearing the health system private sector woos veterans in ads ;

A leading hospital system in the US is courting military veterans with a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, raising concerns of some groups of veterans marketing private sector could weaken the Department of Veterans Affairs system of health care.

The campaign tag lines- “Veterans have a choice in health care” and “You honored his oath, and we also” -emphasize consumer preference and common values ​​of medical professionals and the military.

Starting Monday, television, radio, print and online advertisements based in St. Louis Ascension Health urge veterans to call a toll-free number for information about Veterans Selection, the cornerstone of the VA reform approved in 2014, which makes it easier for veterans to receive medical care by the federal government under local doctors.

veterans groups say it is the first large-scale marketing veterans Choice-eligible.

Veterinarians are wary of proposals to privatize the health system VA and fear draining of patients and dollars could harm the VA in the long run, said Luis Celli of the American Legion, a veterans group more largest in the country. While supporting the Choice legislation following a scandal over long waiting times and falsified records, most want the program to remain temporary, he said.

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More than 4.6 million veterans used VA health last year, and the VA says it has reduced its waiting list while authorizing the millions of veterans receiving care in the private sector .

Congress approved $ 10 million over three years for the program of choice, money that private sector providers will go to Medicare rates, a revenue stream that can be valuable. To be eligible, veterans must live more than 40 miles from a VA medical center or face a long wait for VA care.

“No community is more vulnerable than veterans,” said spokesman Nick Ragone Ascension. “Our mission is to serve those who lack these services, no matter what the revenue stream or reimbursement levels.”

Ascension, system nonprofit nation’s largest health care facilities in 24 states, estimated that their efforts could lead to 24,000 veterans a year who receive care from their suppliers, which help VA to reduce its backlog of cases.

Ascension supports the extension of the program of choice maturity beyond 2017 and will air ads in Washington, DC, Ragone said. “We are looking to continue to be part of the solution,” he said.

Ascension plans to train providers in veterans affairs and has hired veterans in each of its markets to help new patients navigate the requirements of the program of choice, Ragone said.

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Some veterans groups are skeptical, however, about whether the Ascension can live up to its commercialization.

“How many mechanical arms have recently installed?” Celli said after seeing an ad Ascension represents a veteran with a prosthetic arm. “This campaign suggests that veterans are interchangeable with any other person in society (head paste here), which clearly shows that simply do not understand.”

Terri Tanielian, senior research analyst at Rand, said many private sector providers lack training in the military culture and health conditions related to combat. His research -a survey of 2,014 mental health professionals-is only 13 percent met the standards for culturally competent care, based on evidence for veterans.

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Ascension campaign could lead to unexpected medical expenses if veterans seek care in the private sector without ensuring that they are eligible, said Carlos Fuentes Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“If we hear from veterans Ascension facilities are incorrectly billed them that he would oppose” Fuentes said. “The most important part is that (Ascension) keep your information and materials to date. I congratulate them if they are doing the job.”

This article was originally published on medicalxpress, Read the original article

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