Veterans Choice

Peter Biello

The Boston Globe published revelations on Saturday of dangerous delays in care and unsanitary conditions at the Manchester VA Medical Center.

Recently, VA Secretary David Shulkin told a Senate Committee that an important program designed to help veterans get care at private hospitals was running out of money sooner than expected. He was talking about the Veterans Choice program.

Meanwhile, here in New Hampshire, the program has slowly required more and more administrative help from employees at the Manchester VA. Assistant Director of the medical center, Kevin Forest, recently said as much to the State Veterans Advisory Committee.

JeffOnWire / Flickr

The Department of Veterans Affairs says a program that offers veterans private-sector health care will run out of money much sooner than expected.

VA Secretary David Shulkin made the disclosure about the Veterans Choice Program June 7th at a Senate hearing.

He cites a shortfall of more than $1 billion due to increased demand from veterans for care outside the VA, telling Senators that March, April and May have been extra busy for Choice.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The New Hampshire State Veterans Advisory Committee is asking Congress to permanently fund the Veterans Choice Program.

This program allows veterans to receive health care from their local hospitals. Its funding is expected to end later this year.

Veterans have complained about long waits for care, which the program was supposed to remedy, and civilian doctors have complained about not getting timely payments for care given to Veterans Choice patients.

Allegra Boverman; NHPR

We sit down with NPR correspondent Quil Lawrence. He's covering the issues faced by millions of Americans who are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as they transition to life back at home. We'll discuss the struggles faced by veterans, as well as his time as NPR's bureau chief in Kabul and 10 years of reporting in Iraq.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Veterans who receive care for chronic pain through the VA's Veterans Choice program may soon have fewer options for treatment.

The private New Hampshire-based company, PainCare, is once again considering cutting ties with the Veterans Choice program and the company that administers it, Health Net, Inc., because Health Net allegedly continues to delay payments to PainCare doctors. PainCare operates 11 clinics in New Hampshire.