Tampa VA Hospital Apologizes to Veterans, Yet …

James A. Haley VA Medical Center, Tampa, FL.

The James A. Haley VA Medical Center has apologized to four men quoted in a recent St. Petersburg Times article about difficulties they faced in a program that pays for medical care outside the facility, a hospital spokeswoman said.

This program, called fee basis, allows veterans to get medical care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs if the agency is too busy, doesn’t offer a service or in case of some emergencies.

Veterans interviewed by the Times for the Oct. 16 story complained appointments with non-VA doctors have been canceled because of Haley’s budget problems. Some noted instances in which Haley refused to pay for outside medical care.

“We have contacted those veterans who contacted you and apologized for any miscommunication that our veterans received,” Haley spokeswoman Carolyn Clark said.

But interviews with most of the veterans or their families indicate the VA has not offered to remedy any of the problems they discussed in the story.

You can read the follow up story by William R. Levesque in the St. Petersburg Times HERE.

You can read the original St. Petersburg Times story about the veterans seeking payment for outside medical care HERE.

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