AUSN

FALL-WINTER 2017

Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

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23 Association of the United States Navy require the use of home technology like Telehealth and monitoring systems that VA is currently doing. We've just announced we'll be expanding the efforts to be able to do that. You put all of that together in a system of care and we believe it will allow Veterans to be able to remain in their home, where, frankly, I think most of them would rather be, instead of a long-term care facility. Sounds like a comprehensive package. On a similar note, when Veterans who are retirees turn 65 years old, they are required to go on Medicare. Upon application, payment is based on income, which means that retirees now have less discretionary funds. Is this a concern for you? Everyone who turns 65 and is eligible for VA services is also eligible for VA healthcare. ere- fore, they have options when they turn 65 – either their Medicare program, if they are low-income, Medicaid, or VA. Veterans make choices about where they want to get their care. We certainly hope that they will choose to get their care at VA because that's helping us to help them and it fulfills our mission of caring for Veterans, but we know that with the Medi- care and Medicaid program they have choices to go other places as well. e financial advantage, particularly for service-connected Veterans, is that when they use the VA system their co-pays and cost-shares are not as great as when they use the other government programs, so there is a financial advantage to many of our Veterans to using VA and of course that's part of us fulfilling our mission – to help them. Is there anything else you'd like to tell our membership? e most important thing for us at VA is to rebuild the trust that we lost in the 2014 wait time crisis with our Veterans. To us, since we don't have a financial objective, we don't have a stock price, our currency is trust of Veterans, and we know that's easy to lose, as we did for many Veterans in 2014 and very hard to regain, so we're working hard to regain that. e way that we're doing that is through transparency. at's part of why we publish wait times, it's part of why we publish all the satisfaction scores of Veterans, so Veterans can look on our website and see what other Veterans are saying about their care at the VA – body, site, and location. We publish our quality metrics so that you can compare not only how the VA is doing, but compare it to your local hospitals. We do believe that Veterans have choice, if they want to go to the VA or to their local providers. We're publishing all of our disciplinary actions that we take against our employees, and most recently we even published my travel schedule because we want everybody to understand exactly what's happening at VA and try to be as transparent as possible. We believe that's the way to regain trust, and we understand that people out there will be rightfully skeptical, but we believe that over time that if we continue to disclose how we're performing, the good and the bad, that is an avenue toward rebuilding this organization to where it needs to be. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. n Diana B. West can be found on LinkedIn and on Twitter @DianaeWriter. COURTESY OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION AND DEFENSE HEALTH AGENC Y Secretary Shulkin spoke with various providers throughout the Walter Reed facilities to learn about the medical care given at the hospital.

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