Over the past decade, the Veteran’s administration has come to fit right at 20% of all hearing aids fit in this country each year. Through their expansion of benefits in the late nineties, and through the first part of this century, basically, every veteran with a hearing loss qualifies for a free set of hearing aids from the VA. However, in order to receive this benefit, the individual veteran must run the VA gauntlet.
This massive, taxpayer funded, single provider system, is the very definition of government provided health care, not the Affordable Care Act.
It’s limited access points, red tape, wait times, and abysmal service record are still not only tolerated, but protected with true sacred cow status. A system promised to our veterans for their service. Portrayed, and promised to every veteran to be the very best, to serve our wounded warriors, of all ages, for every healthcare need they have, for their entire lives.
A system promised as their own, designed, and run so as to honor their sacrifices and service.
That’s the recruitment pitch given every inductee, or volunteer.
Sadly, the realities are, that the entire Veteran’s Administration, and hospital system is woefully underfunded, understaffed, and overrun. It’s overrun not only with veterans waiting for care, but also with bureaucratic red tape, delays, errors, and generally sub-standard service, including Veterans literally dying while waiting for care.
IHS’s fit to serve program is designed to address the hearing healthcare issues of all veterans by simply certifying currently qualified, licensed hearing aid dispensers to provide care outside of the currently closed Veteran’s Administration delivery system.
The simple changes Federal regulations proposed would allow for such outside contracting, while requiring the VA to track, and report service wait times under their entire hearing care program.
These changes would bring both transparency, and accountability to a program within the VA in obvious need of immediate reform.
In contrast to the Veteran’s Administration:
- Wait times for our patients are measured in minutes hours, not weeks, or months.
- All requests for service are met within twenty-four hours of being received, or at the patient’s convenience, even after hours.
- Most service, programming adjustments, cleaning, and repairs are handled, immediately, on site.
- We accept walk in requests for service every weekday, 9:30 till Noon, no appointment needed.
- We won’t leave until the last patient is served.
- In such cases as one of our patients are to be without their gear, we always offer to provide the latest, state of the art temporary replacement, or loaner gear, while theirs is being fixed.
- All equipment not repaired immediately on site, is returned via overnight shipping to the original equipment manufacturer for repair and return, not to a central shipping, receiving and processing facility in Boulder, Colorado.
- We have a financial incentive to provide our patients with the best possible care in an environment that they enjoy, and want to repeat.
- We are a tax paying, locally owned and operated small business, answerable directly to those we serve vs. a tax funded federal bureaucracy answerable to congress.
It’s what we call being Patient Centered & Results Oriented.
So given the obvious differences, you might just be asking yourself the same question my veteran patients and I have been;
Just who is better fit to serve?
The Veteran’s Administration, or your local, licensed Audioprosthologist & hearing aid dispensers, and audiologists?
If, you feel as most of us do, that we aren’t just as well qualified, but, rather better, to serve our veterans needs, then please click this link to the IHS’s fit to serve site for instructions on what you can do to help.
Or, if you should like to leave a comment, either in favor, or opposition, please do so on the form below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.