U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) congratulated TriWest Healthcare Alliance this week after the Phoenix-based health care company said it has scheduled 1 million appointments under the Veteran Choice Program.
TriWest receives nearly 120,000 requests for care per month, a 6,000 percent increase in volume from the 2,000 requests received in the first month of the Veterans Choice Program.
“Congratulations to TriWest and the VA for reaching the critical milestone of scheduling 1 million appointments under the Veteran Choice Program," McCain said in a statement. "This program is a revolution in veterans health care. For the first time, veterans who live far from a VA facility or are unable to receive an appointment in a reasonable timeframe have the freedom to choose when and where they receive their care. These veterans no longer have to take ‘no’ for an answer from a VA bureaucrat when it comes to accessing the timely, quality care they need."
“While the VA has a long way to go to improve the implementation of this critical program, I believe important progress is being made since it was created just 18 months ago," McCain said. "Today thousands of veterans per day are using the Choice Card to visit quality doctors in their community instead of having to languish on manipulated wait-lists. These appointments in-turn free up appointments for veterans at the VA, helping to cut down on never-ending wait-times that have plagued the system for years."
“The Veteran Choice Program is a first step in a long road to fully reform the VA health care system," McCain said. "Unfortunately, the authorization for this vital program is set to expire at the end of this year. I will continue fighting to extend this program to ensure that many more millions of appointments are made for veterans to see community under the Veteran Choice Program in the years to come.”