After Pressure from Tester, VA to Tackle Backlog of Provider Payments

Senator: Veterans Too Important To Let Bureaucracy Get In The Way

(Kalispell, Mont.) – Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Jon Tester today released the following statement after the VA announced its plan to catch up on delayed payments to community providers who serve veterans using the Choice Program:

“This action is long overdue, and I will hold the VA accountable to ensure this not a hollow promise. Veterans’ health care is too important to let government bureaucracy get in the way of doctors who need to serve our veterans. It’s now time for Congress to pass our bipartisan bill so we have a long term solution that brings stability to community care.”

The VA recently announced it will take action to tackle the backlog of payments to community providers who partner with the VA through the Choice Program. The VA will send rapid response teams to local facilities to settle claims within 90 days and increase its quota of claims processed by April.

Tester’s Caring for Our Veterans Act replaces the Choice Program with one, easy-to-navigate, community health care system that puts the decision of where to seek care in the hands of the veteran and their doctor. It would cut red tape for community providers that partner with the VA and create new standards for timely payments.

Tester’s bipartisan Caring for Our Veterans Act has garnered support from 26 Veterans Service Organizations.