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Old 10-30-2009, 07:43 PM
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Question Question for Gimpy and others?

Now correct Me if I'm wrong. Maybe I had a mis-understanding. I retired in 1989 in pretty good health. In 1991 I started with the high blood pressure stuff (hypertension). So I went to the VA medical center in Memphis to schedule an appointment. The front desk asked Me several questions concerning eligeability. It was determined that I had no service connected disabilities, and in receipt of retirement pay. Therefore I was over the VA threshhold. Stated that I fell in Category 8, and would be required to pay a co-pay if seen
by the VA. From that point on I was always under CHAMPUS and utilized the Naval air station clinic where I was assigned a Primary care doctor. Now that it is TRI-CARE, and under TRI-CARE prime. I get all of My medical through them to include medications. Now
that I have a service connected disability of 40%, and being retired do I still fall into the category 8 group? Hope You are understanding all of this. Bottomline: Am I eligeable for
VA health care at no charge?
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:05 AM
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Why would you want VA health care - with questionable doctors/care - when for a mere $12 per office visit, have a civilian provider?
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:38 PM
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Point well taken. Anyway I have not even attempted to get VA healthcare since I got aawarded My disability. Navy clinic is only a 20 minute drive. I just wanted an answer, and yes I Am eligeable, and will continue My care through Tri-care.
Thanks
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:51 PM
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Dayum. I get all of my care through the VA and have never had a complaint. They treat us like deserving heros. I can't speak for other states but the VAMC in Charleston and Columbia are both located on the Medical Campus of the University of South Carolina. I have found all physicians with whom I have had doings with to be competent and polite.
Let's face it GI's are great at bitching. Reap what you sow, treat a doctor with disrespect and you may not get the best response.

I may be unusual. I never expect or ask for much and appreciate everything I get.
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:49 PM
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Glad you get good care thru the VA system. Several visits to various VA hospitals for me resulted in being treated by doctors who barely spoke English, in facilities that were sorely in need of a GI party, and uncaring administrators who resented my breathing their air. I'll stick with my civilian doctor.
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whale View Post
Dayum. I get all of my care through the VA and have never had a complaint. They treat us like deserving heros. I can't speak for other states but the VAMC in Charleston and Columbia are both located on the Medical Campus of the University of South Carolina. I have found all physicians with whom I have had doings with to be competent and polite.
Let's face it GI's are great at bitching. Reap what you sow, treat a doctor with disrespect and you may not get the best response.

I may be unusual. I never expect or ask for much and appreciate everything I get.
Same-same me, Terry. I've always gotten excellent care at the Spokane VAMC. After talking to several other Vets around the country, it's one of the best facilities around. Recently heard that it ranked 3rd in the country for patient satisfaction.

To answer the question, "Yes, Topp," your newly acquired service connected disability rating should put you into a different group. The co-pay goes away after a certain percentage but I'm not sure what that is. Check with your VA business office. Also, might find out on line at the VA site. Good luck.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:49 PM
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Guys,

As the Frisco Kid and the Whale stated, treatment at the VA is top-notch. The VA health care system is rated by such sources as Business Week and CBS as the absolute best health care system in the US. But that doesn't mean that with 168 or however many VA hospitals, and far more Community Based Outpatient Clinics, that there aren't some clunkers out there.

As a 100% service connected vet from day one, November 11, 1969, military retired from that same date and eligible for Medicare off and on through the years, I have had plenty of options for my medical care to include military facilities, CHAPMUS and Tri-Care. Additionally, for 26 years I lived far enough away from the nearest VA facilities that the VA was willing to pay 100% of the cost for me to go to any doctor of my choosing on their dime for any condition. So what was my choice? I drove the 185 miles each way to the Spokane VA Medical Center to get quality care. Screw the civilians! The VA gave me travel pay anyway so it was worth it.

Let share with you what happened when I decided to take the VA up on their offer to pay for me to go to a civilian doctor on their dime. I went to a civilian doctor and told him that I was having pain in my chest/ribs. Not in the heart, it was closer to the surface. This bozo had me take off my shirt and show him where the pain was. I did as he asked and pointed to an old bullet wound from Viet Nam. By the way, I have bullet and shrapnel wound all over, so that should at least raise an eyebrow when a doctor examines me. I pointed right at the damned scar and told him that it was giving me some pain and discomfort! This piece of excrement never even asked me about the scar, ar any of my scars. Hey, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck; it is probably a damned duck. But this ass-clown civilian doctor thought he knew everything and diagnosed it pleurisy without discussing any of my wounds.

I put my shirt back on and walked out. I had nothing else to say to him because clearly he didn't know squat.

The only ailments that I have had in my adult life was a kidney stone once and I think I had a cold once. The only medical care I need is regular check-ups and care for my service connected disabilities. As they are all the result of combat wounds, I decided to only go to a place where they recognize an old wound when they see one.

From 1977 to present I have received nothing but wonderful treatment from VA at:
Seattle VAMC
Spokane VAMC
Walla Walla VAMC
Cheyenne VAMC
Denver VAMC
Richland, WA Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Fort Collins, CO Community Based Outpatient Clinic

From November of 1969 to mid-1777 I received my care through March AFB Regional Hospital, Norton AFB dispensary, and the Naval Hospital at Whidbey Island, WA Naval Air Station. They were certainly better than the civilian that I went to, but they couldn't touch the VA for quality of care.

If the VA health care sucks where you live, you need to complain to your Senators and Congressman. But I certainly have no complaints.

As the Whale mentioned, the VA treats me like I’m something special.


Of course, my wife and children use Tri-Care. We are happy with it. My wife and daughter love their doctor. But when my wife goes with me to the VA she gets jealous. They treat me so well and get me in so quickly that my wife is shocked. She has noted that no civilian doctor has ever treated her as well as I am treated by the VA.

As always, your mileage may vary.

Robert
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:16 AM
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:57 AM
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It's all good. To Me, Memphis has VA hospital have a way of pissing You off. When I went to get My Agent Orange exam the clerk to me weren't very courteous, as I had missed an entire days work waiting around, and already pissed He gave me this BS! about a service connected disability, and co-pays, and as I tried to explaim this is an exam for a VA claim, and is free to me as A veteran. As he went on, and on. I finally said look I need to talk to someone who knows what is going on. Maybe this is an isolated incident. I'm going there tommorrow for My C&P exam for PTSD since They have said the rating is not permanent, and is subject to a future examination, and it has been 6 months. Nothing has really changed. Maybe it will remain at 30% or may even get reduced to 0% at this point it really doesn't matter either way.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:58 AM
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Two points:

1. If you have a CIB, Purple Heart or any other award or decoration signifying exposure to combat, you will not get reduced below 30%. With any other proof of exposure to combat or any other significant trauma, you are extremely unlikely to be reduced below 30%.

2. Government hiring policies, in other words set-asides for the incompetent, will result in every government office having its share of jerks and incomptents. It's just that some places are worse than others. perhaps Memphis VA is one of those places.

Good luck with your appointment. Also, if I were you I would check out the availablity of a VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic in your AO. Life is much simpler if you get your care there and only go to the main hospitals to see specialists.

Robert
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