Veterans can now work directly with VA to resolve debt collection issues resulting from inappropriate or delayed Choice Program billing. In step with MyVA’s efforts to modernize VA’s customer-focused, Veteran-centered services capabilities, 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 1-877-881-7618 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET for assistance.

“As a result of the Veterans Choice Program, community providers have seen thousands of Veterans. We continue to work to make the program more Veteran-friendly,” said Dr. David Shulkin, Under Secretary for Health. “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.  VA staff 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 is urging 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 acknowledges 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 of 2015 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 . Veterans seeking to use the Veterans Choice Program can call1-866-606-8198 to find out more about the program, confirm their eligibility and schedule an appointment.

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Published on Mar. 14, 2016

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  1. Raymond G black March 20, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    I have been using the VA for about 4 yrs when I went into the VA local they told me they would cover the,prescriptions I was taking .I have heart disease because of agent orange I have had a 4 bypass surgery and have 11 stents, also have hearing loss from being in Vietnam War in the 60’s. They checked my hearing 4 times said 50 % hearing loss went to get my hearings aids after I got them they said my hearing improved they took my money for that I filed a appeal took 3yrs too get a,answer they rechecked my hearing gave 10% so I filed another appeal. I have a new problem now I started receiving copay bills on prescriptions that I get. I called the VA and was told that they can bill for prescriptions that are not for my Disability but couldn’t, tell me, which ones they were. I have to call some, one at VA it’s 1800 number so I know I am screwed.

  2. otto borden March 19, 2016 at 9:02 pm


  3. Douglas Filbrun March 19, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I agree with Marlene. The Veteran’s Choice program is a scam and a joke. I’m still waiting for them to schedule an appointment for me since Feb 2016 so I now know I have a long wait in store before I get an appointment. I have made 6 calls and each person has assured me that I would get one scheduled with in 4 to 5 work days. They have also told me since January, when I was enrolled involuntarily, the Choice program would send me some kind of Member ID card. Haven’t got that yet either. I have lost what little faith I had in the Choice program. What a sham.

  4. Gayle Glick March 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I am going to the VA Clinic in Columbus on Monday after being flat out lied to for at least 3 months. I will visit Patient Advocate office first, and we will then go back up to Optometry .. make sure they re-submit the referral. Then Wednesday I am going to call HealthNet back and stay on the line with supervisor’s supervisor while they make my appointment. I’m losing vision in left eye .. have double vision in right eye .. and severe headaches … Authorizations are only good for 60 days. If you keep calling, they’re lying that they will set up your appointment. Go back to the VA … have them send in another referral .. every 60 days .. talk to Patient Advocate .. Will post again next Wednesday when I hopefully have some good news .. or on the warpath …

  5. James Tobleck March 18, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    My dentist refuses to sign on so I had to pay 3 bills that VA should have covered. I’ve tried to get help since October ,dozens of phone calls all to no avail my full knée replacement is waiming on choice to get back to me, anot her joke. 40 years and the va still fails every time. My question, what in God’s name do I have to do to g e t west michigan va off their lazy ass? No list of orthopedic surgeons that accept va, or dentist s . Until congressmen have to use this system it won’t change. Bob McDonald really let us down . Obviously the wrong guy for the job.


  6. charles howard March 18, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Have had many ups and downs with the V.A. I’ve had 12 spine surgerys ( only one at the V.A.) and service connected 100% disability. We recently got a satelite primary care near my home. Thought it would be a plus. New doc.had me sign a contract for pain meds that I havebeenon for years. Had noproblem with all that’s going on with pain meds.well.I was hospitalized in a local. Hospital for a resperatory infection. They took my va pain meds and when I was discharged I didn’t get them back.went to my new va doc and was instructed to go to the va er. Theytold me to go see my primary care ! Ended up going to a local doc who helped me out by giving me a script 1/2. What I usually take…a few days later my va doc starts calling me! Don’t sign the contract or you may find you can’t get help when the valets u down. I’m not medicated, in pain, and sick of the run around. There is not penalty when your doc forgets to put in your pain meds..sux

  7. John K Collier March 18, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    I was a helicopter crewchief in nam for 69,70,71,72 and saved a lot of lives with my machinegun when Medvac,s couldn,t get them out.Where,s the help for Veterans for us here in the World.The Choice people didn,t pay bill and it went right to collections.That will mess up your life.ce495 jcollier

  8. Bryan Clarke March 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    had hep c got it treated. more than likely from air gun meds at Paris Island the interferon and hepaviron left me all screwed up

  9. Marlene Trujillo March 18, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    The Veteran’s Choice program is a scam and a joke. I’m still waiting for them to schedule an appointment for me since June 27, 2015 and today’s 3/18/2016 I called them many times and still haven’t heard from them! They never call anyone back to schedule appointments. What a SCAM! Nothing but a high priced call center that gets paid to do nothing! And nobody is doing anything or saying anything to make it right! I talked to Congressman Tipton office two weeks ago and they said they would schedule me an appt. Still haven’t heard anything from anyone! Frustrated, Disappointed and Sickened by what’s going on! What a Joke!

    • RD Seachrist March 19, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Try this: search your area for several or at least 3 doctors you need that note they accept VA. Call each and make sure they accept it. Then schedule your appt. at that time. Last, call VA Choice Program and tell them you have the appt. as they obviously have a record of your needs. They them the Dr
      name, address and phone no. and the appt. date and time. Let them know the provider accepts VA. They will put it in their system and the provider usually pops up as they type it in. Then go. They will process it faster and with less work for them. It usually works. Best of luck.

  10. Al Wood Sr. 6708 March 18, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Everybody talks about fixing the problem and comes up with new (more) departments and that just adds more buracracy to an already over loaded system. Everytime I try to use this system I find more cracks for veterans to fall through. I am out west and what a joke it has been to get into the choice program. All said and done what this system needs is to post daily the specific names of VA workers and their location that are fired. This will show the Veterans finally the VA is cleaning house.Then abolish about 1/3 of the VA fat and start hiring people that care about Veterans more than careers and money. I went to the patient advacants office because I could never get them to call me back. Speaking to the lady in the office for about 30 minutes I felt like I was getting pushed out the door. The lady finally said if I didn’t have faith in their office maybe I might want to volunteer to be on their committee (more layers of fat/bureaucracy). I shocked her when I said yes. Lets see, that has been over 7 months ago and well, I am not surprised, NO CALL. This was at the Indianapolis VA and is typical of how’s things are done. Sweep it under the rug and it will go away. Enough layers of fat and the Veteran gets frustrated. When We call the first thing we hear is about hurting ourselves and then a list of ways to get help. HELLO when a Veteran needs help he does not call with paper and pen in hand. He needs help then. Have a single or double digit number for him to press for IMMEDIATE HELP!!!. Right now your system is contributing to the 17 Club. One out of every ten people I speak to at VA is helpful. Does that tell you something? Please as a disabled Veteran I am not asking I am demanding VA fix itself not with more but less buracracy and more carrying people. If you care about fixing the system you can contact me, other wise I will know that as most of the time this comment section is just to “Let a Vet speakout and no one in VA will seek out”. This is what we as Veterans have experienced in the past!!!!! We, Veterans are like WE THE PEOPLE. We shall not quit. We are pleading for your HELP..

  11. roy rex March 18, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    they pay some bills but not others and it was for the same surgery go to e.r. they pay somr not others i,ve had enuff i,ll just use medacare va is not worth s it a holes

    • otto borden March 19, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      I agree but as i been sharing with vets in the NC area we need to form our own Union it would be the largest Union in North America and we could buy our own health care and each could see the doctor of his choice. The VA is getting away from Non VA healthcare its going to leave many with no insurance at all we need a Union as you mention teh Employees of the Phoenix and New Mexico issues its because the have a union they can’t be fired for what happened AFGE is their union we need our own union The Veterans union of North America

  12. Christopher millet March 18, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    The veterans choice program is a joke! It is not available for veterans use. It is another example of incompetence of the va administration and the va administrations attempt to place monies in their pockets based on terrible treatment, fraud, and death lists,I.e; Phoenix and Albuquerque. The only thing that is taken care of by the va is the va administration. The va hospital/medical system is should be disbanded and veterans should be allowed to receive real treatment from real doctors!

    • Mike Banes March 25, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Mr. Millet, please call the Adverse Collections for Non VA at 1-877-881-7618 and ask for Mike.

  13. roy curtis albarado March 18, 2016 at 11:31 am


  14. James K. Stinson March 18, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I used Choice care to have a complete knee replacement done. The knee is question was rated at 10% dsability and had eroded to bone on bone.

    I contacted the VA clinic ( a trailer in an unused parking lot of an abandoned building) and was told they were not accepting any NEW patients (funny, I had been on the VA Healthcare since its inception) but this IS the VA. I was also told at that time about the Choice Card Program.

    Long story short, I got my card, got approved for the surgery, got the surgery, now I am being BILLED for parts of the surgery.

    Can you help me figure out what is right and what is not?

    TriCare Standard (Tri-West) also got involved as they are my primary health insurer.

    Thank You

    Jim Stinson
    MMCS/SS USN (ret)

  15. dawne picciolo March 18, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Choice care scares me for this reason. VA set me up for rural treatment years ago (1998) and never paid the bill. After collections and many years of bad credit it’s finally off of my report but still not paid. Fee basis never helped nor did writing letters or patient advocate. Yes I have trust issues and this article just reinforced them.

    • otto borden March 19, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      I can see the writing on the wall and most vets need to see it to. The VA is moving away from non service connected healthcare. I have meetings weekly with vets and as i tell them we need to form our own dues paying union which would give us another choice many are going to be shut out it is already going own. Nursing homes for example u have to be 60% or greater to get into a nursing i remember when you could 10% and have SSDI and get into one. With the VA theses money is the issue not your honorable service that doesn’t matter no more. We are going to have to create our own system through a veterans union it could be the largest in North America.

  16. THOMAS McDERMOTT March 15, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I cannot get choice care treatment for major depression from the VA because in my case MEDICARE is not primary.It is consequentual to a work related injury on 11-20-01.My local doctor will not cover it and I am left with no treatment.If you can get the VA to pay directly to my doctor, I can be treated with TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) but very few doctors in my area offer it because it is new and expensive.Only the BRONX,NY., VA has this for veterans.My Northport NY.,location does not have it.I had to self-pay and it is a financial burden.I am approved and enrolled in choicecare already and I do not know where to turn.My Doctor is a psychiatrist for my mental health treatment.TMS has improved my condition,THANK GOD.I now ask the VA for help.I have served my country in the Army with no hesitation.Now I ask my country to help me in the same way.
    Thank you….Thomas McDermott….

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