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Old 13-08-2018, 07:21   #1
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Veterans Healthcare?

Does anyone get their health care through the VA system? If so:


How do you solve the timing of ordering and receiving your medications? My VAMC is strict (I'd rather us another word) about the refill dates. They won't refill and send the Rx early even if you inform them that you will be away at the refill time and will will run out before your planned return date. Another issue with one of my meds is that the Dr wants me to take a half of a pill and often times the pill shatters and is useless. So I run out of that even earlier.



I'm also assuming that if you're sick and near a VA facility with an emergency room, you just use that. Otherwise you're SOL unless you have other coverage.
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Old 13-08-2018, 10:36   #2
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Re: Veterans Healthcare?

I heard that potus has put in a new program to help and I can usually call my va nurse and she is pretty good at getting me my medicine
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Old 14-08-2018, 19:05   #3
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Re: Veterans Healthcare?

Yes, in an emergency you can go to a VA ER. But it may vary place to place. In W Palm Beach I had to enroll at that VA to use the ER. I was there for chest pains and they made me go to their enrollment office first!!!!!

Not sure about how meds are handled if you're traveling. I was at the VA pharmacy a few weeks ago and heard someone describing more or less what you described. Apparently it's it's a new thing with the "new and improved" VA.

The VA has had a program for a few years, I think since 2015, where you can go to an outside doctor. I think it's called Choice. I used it in 2016 at a local hospital while traveling. They billed the VA and if I remember correctly, my cost was about $50 out of the $2k+ bill. Also, the VA has had, and I think still does have, something called Traveling Vet, or something like that. Sign up for it at your regular VA - not sure of the details, never used that but I plan to if it hasn't been cut. Call your regular VA to find out about that.
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Old 15-08-2018, 00:53   #4
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Re: Veterans Healthcare?

following
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Old 15-08-2018, 04:51   #5
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Re: Veterans Healthcare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gittist View Post
Does anyone get their health care through the VA system? If so:


How do you solve the timing of ordering and receiving your medications? My VAMC is strict (I'd rather us another word) about the refill dates. They won't refill and send the Rx early even if you inform them that you will be away at the refill time and will will run out before your planned return date. Another issue with one of my meds is that the Dr wants me to take a half of a pill and often times the pill shatters and is useless. So I run out of that even earlier.



I'm also assuming that if you're sick and near a VA facility with an emergency room, you just use that. Otherwise you're SOL unless you have other coverage.
I submit all my refills through http://myhealth.va.gov
If the refill is no longer available (ran out of them), I send a message to my doc through the messaging system on the site and the nurse replies letting me know they'll take care of it (or I need to come in etc). Then they mail my refills to me. If I'm going to be away from my mailing address at that time, I have a friend send the medications to wherever I'm currently located at.

If you have the need for emergency medicine (an actual emergency that is, not "I could wait and see the doctor tomorrow but I'd rather be seen now" condition), then go to the nearest emergency room. VA coverage for outside emergency rooms is limited based on a few factors, but in general will be covered if you notify them within 3 days AND the reason for the visit was due to a service connected condition or you are 100% P&T or the reason for the visit was something that is "adjunct" to your service connected condition. Information on emergency non-service connected care, and in general a good writeup about VA and emergency room care can be found here https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/doc...heet_20-02.pdf
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Old 16-08-2018, 07:28   #6
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Re: Veterans Healthcare?

So Gittist, I have a couple suggestions, and a question..

I also have a prescription that I have to fill monthly, and often times I have been out of town during a period that is too short to get a refill. So, I've done a couple of things. I've had my doctor file a request for an exception so I can get a larger dose. I've also had my doctor write an addition hand written prescription, post dated that I can fill at a pharmacy where I am near. Both have worked.

Also, do you have Tricare for life? My husband is retired AF... and will have to use the VA for a knee injury which occurred during service. But, his Tricare allows him to seek health care anywhere if he cannot get to the VA (for example.. out of country)... If you do have Tricare, was that your interpretation?
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Old 16-08-2018, 08:32   #7
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Re: Veterans Healthcare?

I went to the VA pharmacy and spoke to the person in charge. I was going to do the "Great Loop", and I was planning to be away for almost a full year. They were very understanding, and issued me meds for the full year. This included meds for high blood pressure and thyroid. You might have a problem with other meds, depending on the need to monitor your condition.
It took me awhile to get to that point though, as my initial request was denied when I asked. Persistance got me to the point where I was advised to see the pharmacy supervisor.

Good luck to you!
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Old 16-08-2018, 08:55   #8
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Re: Veterans Healthcare?

Your VA doctor can also call in prescriptions to outside pharmacies. You'd have to pay for them and I don't know if that would work if you're outside the US, but my wife's doctor has done that when she ran out while we were out of town.

Start with your doctor and see what they're willing to do.
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Old 17-08-2018, 16:58   #9
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Re: Veterans Healthcare?

Hi, We spoke with our VA docs and explained that we would be cruising out of the country. They gave us most of our meds for the year. However, I have one that is a "controlled" substance (ambien). The doc arranged for refills to be allowed for 3 mos at a time and irregular shipping, all I have to do is send her a msg through healthevet or call. The VA has a "travel coordinator" that helps with scheduling anywhere there are VA services so we don't have to change our doctors.
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