Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

VA Issues: 1,800 TRICARE PATIENTS TOLD TO FIND NEW DOCTORS



Patterson, New Jersey clinic cutting services to TRICARE PLUS enrollees

APP dot com
via: VA Watchdog
August 30, 2006

Fort clinic patients told to find new doctors

4 Patterson physicians leave

Coastal Monmouth Bureau
By: Keith Brown

FORT MONMOUTH---Some 1,800 patients of Fort Monmouth's Patterson Army Health Clinic must begin searching for new doctors by the end of the week, and 2 lawmakers are demanding a meeting with top Army officials to explain why.

The change affects patients enrolled in the Tricare Plus medical program, Michele Steinert, a clinic spokewoman, said Monday. The clinic treats some 8,200 enlisted military personnel, veterans and their families. Patients included under other military benefit plans are not affected.

Steinhart said the service cuts are attributed to the exodus of four clinic doctors in the Tricare Plus program---2 civilian and 2 military---which has left the clinic short-staffed.

***In other words: They had to let 4 of the physicians go because of underfunding.

Two military doctors have been transferred overseas to support the war on terrorism, she said, and 2 civilians---a pediatrician and endocrinologist---have recently quit.

***How convenient for the VA to have the military physicians sent overseas! The 2 civilians probably had a choice: Quit of get fired! Whatever makes your resume' look better.

Patterson partients were notified of the abrupt change in an Aug. 15 letter. Patients will need to begin to look for civilian doctors by Friday and have chosen one by Oct. 15, according to the letter.

The letter, sent by Col. Don P. Speers, the clinic's commanding officer, came just over a month after Army officials and others repeatedly told scores of Patterson patients at a July 9 meeting that no changes in services would take place until 2009, when a yearlong phaseout of the clinic would begin.

***What is it with this administrtion that they can't tell the truth? These people need to get their lives together. They knew in July that this was going to happen! Why lie? If this administration told the truth, I think that I would fall off of my chair! What's worse, is that they have no shame about it.

The Patterson clinic is scheduled to close Oct. 1, 2010. The date marks the beginning of the 2011 fiscal year---the year the fort is due to close as a result of COST-CUTTING recommendations by the Pentagon accepted last year.

The move has drawn the ire of Reps. Rush D. Holt and Frank J. Pallone Jr., both D-NJ., who are demanding a meeting with the D.O.D. to explain why.

"They're (the D.O.D.) saying that this has nothing to do with the closure, but I don't buy it," Palone said Monday.

In a letter Friday sent jointly by Holt and Patterson to William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, the lawmakers wrote: "We wish to voice our strong opposition to this move, and demand that you meet with us to discuss alternatives."

The letter details an Aug. 10 telephone conference among the lawmakers and several Army and defense officials where alternatives to closing the Patterson clinic were discussed.

"We were assured that these options would be fully explored," the letter reads. "We were startled to discover one week later that these assurances seemed meaningless."

Holt and Pallone on Monday both said they have not received a response from the D.O.D.

"It just looks to me that they're looking for any excuse to cut back on services for anybody," Holt said.

***I always said that the so-called big increase to the VA budget was all fuzzy numbers. They are doing more cutting than ever before. It's just a shame that a lot of the veterans can't see it! I'm getting real tired of trying to step up for veterans when they continue to go and vote for the ones that are taking away from them. Kudos to those who see it though!






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