Skip to comments.Vanity: VA Health Care System, what's your Story?
Posted on 06/07/2014 5:12:17 PM PDT by PROCON
I'm a 62 year old Vietnam vet, no hero, just proud to have served my country and it was a great entrance into manhood. I am in the process of entering the VA healthcare system here in Oregon. No current health issues, but I'm registering since I recently was laid off and have no health insurance. I would appreciate Vet input on their experience with the healthcare they receive from the VA system in general and if anyone has had an experience with the Eugene, Oregon facility.
Sorry to hear you were laid off. I hope that if you want to find a new job, that you can. Good luck with the VA.
My sister in law is a surgeon. She did rotations through the VA. She said it was top to bottom inefficiency and incompetence. She would actually take her patients down and do her own XRays as otherwise it wouldn’t get done. She said this in the context of this is what’s coming for everyone.
Thanks for the encouragement :-) Like all huge conglomerates, some should be better than the others. Should I sign up for 0bozo care?
I knew there would be positive storys among the current bad VA news, what facility do you go to?
I’ve been going to the VA for some time. Once you get an appointment keep it and be on time. The staff I’ve encountered are quite knowledgeable and have compassion. Don’t fret the insurance thing, they will still deal with you.
Big cities. Big liberal unions. Big problems.
That is my opinion and I have no link to provide to back it up.
I’ve gone to the VA off and on for decades. Visited hospitals in LA, Denver, and Seattle. Have never had anything but incredible care and attention by some of the kindest folks I’ve ever met, many of whom volunteer.
My Primary Care providers at the local clinic are MDs, and seem to rotate every few years or so. I’ve only had one that I would consider mediocre in a professional sense.
When I’ve asked doctors if they like the VA over private sector facilities the usual response is that they do, a few have commented they get to practice without some bean counter telling them what tests they can call for.
If you can, avoid the large old metro facilities. It looks like there’s a VA clinic in Eugene. My VA clinic is located in a suburb of Melbourne, FL which has provided me the best medical care I’ve ever received. The nearest VA hospital is located in Tampa clear across the state which was built right after WWII. As others have stated, the newer clinics seem to be far superior to the large, old metro hospitals.
Are you sure the one in Riviera Beach is not closer. I watched them building that one some years ago.
Riviera Beach is probably closer but for some reason the VA hospital in Tampa is where they sent me for a pacemaker installation a couple years ago. There’s a VA hospital that’s been under construction in Orlando for years. For relatively minor surgical procedures that can’t be performed at the Viera clinic, they send us to the various modern civilian hospitals in Melbourne. Do you go to the VA hospital in Tampa?
I experienced care at LA,st Louis, and Cincinnati.
I swore I would never set foot in another VA.
But for a bunch of reasons I ended up at Togus VA in Maine about 13 years ago.
Small hospital with good staff. Small enough that you can usually schedule a second appointment in a different area for the same day.
Occasionally I’ve contacted my primary’s nurse, and had issues dealt with in a matter of hours. Meds,therapy, prosthesis.
Someone should start a website for this...
It took me 6-7 months after applying to get an appointment at my local VA Clinic. I Kept the appointment I was given and went to the Clinic last week. It was basically a get to know me type of appointment lots of questions about my health and lifestyle. Told them about a right hip problem I have been having. They took basic blood pressure readings, heart rate reading, blood samples for testing, etc. typical first visit to any doctor. Then they sent me across the street to a private hospital to get an X-ray of my hips. The whole visit took two hours including the X-rays.
I got a 6 page letter in the mail early this week Detailing the results of all the blood panel work ups and X-rays of my hip. They are scheduling me for an MRI for my hip problem and also sent me some B-12 for a deficiency they said I have, said I needed a monthly shot of the B-12. I am to take the B-12 I received in the mail today to the clinic on Monday to receive a shot from a nurse. I was offered medication for my hip pain which turns out to be osteoarthritis but declined at that time. I will ask for it on my visit Monday.
So to recap after showing up for my appointment it took two hours for all the questioning, blood samples and a trip across the street to a local private hospital for the X-rays.
I am thinking not a bad first visit at all.
I have yet to been given a date for the MRI.
Good luck with you adventure with the VA!
The VA is a lot like the military, spending a lot of time waiting to wait. Its also like the military in that if you know the system it can work well for you.
Go in person to get signed up. Don't just call, have last years tax return or last pay stub showing year to date income.
Be able to document all medical expenses in the last year at least, I recommend 2 years if possible.
Once signed up they will usually call to set up an appointment, but if you don't hear anything call after a month or so. When you talk to them never hang up with out getting an appointment no matter how far out. You can always call later to see it there is a cancellation.
They will assign you a primary care provider. On you first visit be sure to sign up for a Premier myHealthVet account. That will enable to you contact your provider directly whenever you have a question.
They will give you an ID card that is supposed to work to check you in at the kiosks at the various clinics. Don't wait more than 10-15 minutes past your appointment time to check with the desk to see if it actually got you checked in.
Finally, and most importantly IMO is that if something comes up go to the VA emergency room, or a civilian emergency room if the VA is not close. The VA health care system is the same as when you were in, it's there, but if you need it you gotta take care of yourself, they ain't handing you anything.
As I said, the care I get is outstanding, you can get the same level as I do without a doubt, but be proactive...
I work for the VA, I transport patients to and from their appointments. I have heard both good and bad about the system. Each clinic is different. Some will get you in early, and some always be late.
At small of the smaller clinics they will outsource a lot of the treatment.
I don’t use them much, I have had bad experiences with them. I was born flat footed, and I made an appointment to get some new orthotics for my shoes. They Xrayed my feet and told me there was nothing wrong with them. I left the VA and and went to a private Dr.
I made an appointment to see why I had blood in my urine, the VA didn’t what to do anything about it, I left again and went to a private Dr. and was treated for an infected prostate.
Most of my experiences with the VA have not been good.
No not eligible but my dad loves the care he gets at Bay Pines right across the bay in St Pete. The RB hospital was impressive to watch going up it was on my way to work daily but it did take a while.