#PainFreeNation: Veterans Affairs

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According to VA officials, more than 600,000 veterans use opioid painkillers, and experts say they often contribute to job loss, family strife, homelessness and suicide, as well as weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.  Here at All American Healthcare, we have joined the #PainFreeNation movement to bring attention to the public health crisis caused by pain.


 

Veterans Affairs

In recent years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has started the long-overdue process of providing veterans with access to chiropractic care by placing doctors of chiropractic on staff at VA hospitals. The process of integrating chiropractic care in the VA system was initiated after Congress enacted a series of statues—Public Law 108-170 and Public Law 107-135—that reinforced a permanent chiropractic benefit within the VA health care system and specifically directed the VA to hire doctors of chiropractic to provide care for veterans.

As a result of the above-referenced congressional directives, the VA now provides chiropractic care (via hired or contracted staff) at 47 major VA treatment facilities within the United States. Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of America’s veterans still do not have access to chiropractic care because the VA has taken no action to provide chiropractic care at more than 100 of its major medical facilities.

Despite important data demonstrating a critical need for chiropractic services within the VA, the disparity in access has been allowed to persist. Recent VA data (Analysis of VA Health Care Utilization among Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Veterans, February 2010) cite “diseases of musculoskeletal system/connective system,” such as back pain, as the number one ailment of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans accessing VA treatment. According to VA officials, more than 600,000 veterans use opioid painkillers, and experts say they often contribute to job loss, family strife, homelessness and suicide, as well as weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.

Resources for doctors of chiropractic seeing VA patients

The American Chiropractic Association has posted information for providers working with, or who would like to see patients through the VA Non-VA Care program.

Non-VA Care

Medical care provided to eligible Veterans outside of VA when VA facilities are not available. Non-VA Care is used when VA medical facilities are not “feasibly available.” The local VA medical facility has criteria to determine whether Non-VA Care may be used. If a Veteran is eligible for certain medical care, the VA hospital or clinic should provide it as the first option. If they can’t – due to a lack of available specialists, long wait times, or extraordinary distances from the Veteran’s home – the VA may consider Non-VA Care in the Veteran’s community.

Non-VA Care Provider Information

Once Purchased Care (non-VA Care) is authorized, Veterans may seek treatment from a provider in their community. This guide details what non-VA providers should expect in terms of authorizations and referrals, claims payment, and the return of medical documentation back to the authorizing VA Medical Center (VAMC).

Becoming a Non-VA Care Provider Information

For updates and more information on #PainFreeNation, go to www.acatoday.org/NCHM

Original article by American Chiropractic Association

#PainFreeNation: Veterans Affairs

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