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Old 01-19-2022, 12:50 PM   #1
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Issues with the VA?

I'm in the early stages of figuring out whether I can get into RVing, so I'm looking into a lot of practical concerns.

Fellow vets, have you had problems with the VA while on the road? Are you able to get appointments and medication in a timely manner, or have there been unexpected hurdles? I'm particularly concerned about controlled medications.

Thanks, all!
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Old 01-19-2022, 03:00 PM   #2
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It's a hurdle just moving from one state to another. Then there is proximity to consider. My new base is an hour away from Charlie Norwood whereas previously I was just 15 minutes from Lebanon VA. The records had to be moved before I could start in with new appointments to cover those that needed cancelled. Not easy.
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Old 01-19-2022, 03:12 PM   #3
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i see my VA doct 2x a year, so we are home or near home base for those events


as far as mailing meds to a different place other than home, its a PITA at times then other its easy. when you refill online.


its to finicky of a health system to try to change docs and facilities based on a new location every few months
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Old 01-19-2022, 03:42 PM   #4
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I too see my GP twice a year curiously enough now, because before I had a cardiac "event" during back surgery I went three times a year. Before we left on this trip I rescheduled one of my annual visits, and used the secure messaging system to request extra meds for the trip with no trouble. The pharmacy actually expedited the meds and I didn't even have to go to the Pharmacy to pick them up as I received them in the mail. I don't have any "controlled" meds however, the VA I go to it's near impossible to get anything "controlled".

During the summer we are only about 120 miles from home so TH VA isn't so much of a pita, winter though we're in southern Arizona next year. Thankfully our tenant at home is one of our daughters and .she can UPS my stuff to the resort. Summer of 23 we intend to be actively traveling, and then the VA could become a bigger problem.
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Old 01-20-2022, 09:34 AM   #5
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As others have said, it is almost impossible to deal with the VA away from home, I schedule visits when we return. VA hospitals are a different story. You can use them anywhere. But ER visits will be frustrating experience. We once spent 10 hours in a waiting room. Medication is also impossible to deal with. They will only send to your home address. When leaving on a trip, I have my primary order meds sent to me to cover the time we will be gone. If I need something special along the way, I use my Medicare to cover it. Chuck
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Old 01-20-2022, 10:38 AM   #6
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i will add


talk to your provider during your doc visit and let them know your planning on traveling. they can place notes in the file and it can be useful if you need meds shipped to alternate address


like it stated its a weird system, sometimes it lets you send meds anywhere and then the next time it jams up and causes conniptions ,



i find the email your doc to be pretty usefull, mine is a good doc and she takes time and effort to make sure i remain ALIVE. i wouldnt trade her



took awhile to find.


her nurse staff is great as well.



but all that , i still experience issues now and then for no reason

the new travel pay system is garbage it used to take 5 days to get paid, now its 45 to 60 with a NON USER friendly system online
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Old 01-20-2022, 10:48 AM   #7
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I go once a year to my GP doctor in Ohio. We are full time and travel allot. Now we rarely stay 2-3 weeks in one campground.
I have my meds sent to my mail service in South Dakota, then we call and have my meds mailed to us. Some of my meds I get thru Wal-Mart from the VA. I just go to the closest Wal-Mart, and they pull it up on their system.
If I need medical services, I registered at the closest VA and tell them "I am a traveling vet." I make sure they understand the difference between "snowbird" & "traveling vet". So far, I have not had issues getting registered in several different facilities as I need.
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Old 01-20-2022, 10:51 AM   #8
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FTd for7 yrs ----used VA in many different states/many different VA facilities within states.
Biggest issue then was some of the VA computer Systems were regional or only within a state.
As we traveled I would go to Regional VA Hospital and 'enroll' then use the Out Patient Clinic
(Once a year would have appointment with my 'primary VA Doc' to get Rx updated/blood tests etc --- primary Doc was in domicile state and would write 90 day scrips with 4 refills)
*supposedly VA Computers all tied together now??

I used 'MyHealtheVet' portal to order Meds ---they were then filled/shipped to my 'home' mailforwarding address where I then had them forwarded to wherever we were going to be next destination
*never had any issues with getting meds in a reasonable time frame---planned ahead
(none of my meds were 'narcotics' so no hang ups getting Rx)

I have had very good care and coverage using the VA Medical System
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealNiceTent View Post
I don't have any "controlled" meds however, the VA I go to it's near impossible to get anything "controlled".
I had to be on my doctor's case, very aggressively, for three years to get mine. It was incredibly frustrating. I get that the VA wants to keep people from getting addicted to things but it shouldn't be this hard to get medical care.
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:27 AM   #10
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Thanks, everyone! This helps a lot and I'm feeling a lot more comfortable now.
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:42 AM   #11
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I've had it with the VA. I will never under any circumstances go to them for care. If I had depended on them I would probably be dead by now.
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Old 01-23-2022, 11:04 AM   #12
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VA care is very dependent on where you live. We used to go to the VA hospital in Long Beach, which was horrible, and the local VA clinic in Laguna Niguel was not much better. One of the reasons we moved to Asheville to retire is it has the number one rated VA hospital in the country. In 8 years here, my assessment of the VA is that it’s better than the local commercial hospital, and better than Medicare. The exception is, the VA is slow to get approvals for community care (referral outside the VA). A year ago, I was traveling, and had to go to emergency care at a hospital in Orange County CA. I wouldn’t let them perform surgery because I wanted to get back to Asheville. Couldn’t leave until I got clearance by going to VA in Long Beach. Found that last year, that nowadays all VA hospitals can access your records, and are willing to talk to your doctor. Got back to Asheville and spent six months in bed waiting for surgery because hospitals were full of Covid patients. VA took way too long to get referral approval for my colon resection surgery at a hospital that had robotics. Almost bought the farm waiting. So, there are pluses and minuses to VA. No problem getting Rx filled for a 3 month trip. Approval took two days.
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Old 01-26-2022, 09:09 AM   #13
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If over 65, my experience has been to use Medicare/Tricare for medical issues and the VA for prescriptions.
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Old 01-26-2022, 09:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I've had it with the VA. I will never under any circumstances go to them for care. If I had depended on them I would probably be dead by now.
I use VA and Medicare Humana. I have an honor medicare plan That is designed for Vets that have VA medical and they give back about $50 a month to SS.

I have medicare and count on it for any urgent needs and I have a GP with them that I see once a year. I have been using that GP for 15 years. Also, I get to use the Y for free.

I have VA due to my disability. I use them for my eyes, labs, the 4x CAT scan in 2021, eyeglasses 1x year, eye exam 2x/yr, hearing aids and batteries and supplies, in 2021 I saw 2 other specialist out of the VA and paid for by the VA, and if I ever get a expensive script I will use the VA.

In doing my medical this way. I net pay Medicare after adjusting for the $50 per month about $90/month or about $1,080/year. I buy krogers pharmacy plan for $36/yr and pay for my 4 scripts $42 3/months or $168/year, which the VA would want $36 a month or $432/yr for those 4 scripts.

I almost have no copay in a year. I think in 2021 there was none, I paid in 2021: Medicare $1,080 and scripts 168. Medicare is my safety net so if I have new issues, I can see the specialist that I want the one the docs use for themselves. In 2021 I saw doc's 7 times, 4 cat scans, 5 panels of labs, 60+ months of scripts, plus medical supplies.
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