After a troubled initial launch, the Department of Veterans Affairs is redefining a key issue with its Choice Card program: how the department defined physical distance from a patient to his or her nearest VA healthcare provider. Initially, veterans qualified for the Choice Card if they lived more than 40 miles from a clinic “as the crow flies,” which is a straight line from their residence to the facility. The new rules will be based on driving distance, reports the Military Times’ Patricia Kime
The Choice Card program was launched last November, as a solution to accessibility issues facing veterans living more than 40 miles from a care center, or for those who had been waiting for treatment for more than 30 days. Choice Cards allow qualified veterans to receive care at private non-VA hospitals and clinics.