Rep. Roy launches effort to improve veterans’ access to quality health care
WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, Representatives Chip Roy (TX-21), Madison Cawthorn (NC-11), Ted Budd (NC-13), John Curtis (UT-03), and Pete Sessions (TX-17) introduced the Veterans Access to Direct Primary Care (VADPC) Act to give veterans greater choice and control over their health care.
Under the Veteran Access to Direct Primary Care Act, veterans would have the option to enhance their healthcare choices by using VA-managed health savings accounts to access direct primary care service arrangements. These arrangements offer patients direct access to a physician without the bureaucratic hurdles that slow efficiency of care.
“After putting their lives on the line to defend this republic, America’s veterans should not struggle to receive healthcare. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of canceled veterans’ health care appointments and many struggling to reschedule them,” said Congressman Roy. “Those who defend the blessings of liberty should have the freedom to choose the very best our country has to offer. The Trump administration took a critical step to support our veterans by signing into the law MISSION Act in 2018 that expanded community care options for our veterans; this legislation continues that effort.”
“I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation, which prioritizes veteran choice, and provides greater access to quality healthcare,” said Congressman Cawthorn. “The DPC model would provide another option that slashes bureaucracy and allows patients to work directly with their health service providers. This legislation would prioritize quality care and efficient service. Our veterans deserve top of the line healthcare, and this legislation is a strong step in that direction.”
Both Congressmen Roy and Cawthorn serve on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The Veterans Access to Direct Primary Care Act directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a pilot program through the Center for Innovation as established by the MISSION Act. The Center for Innovation’s purpose is to develop innovative approaches to testing payment and service delivery models that reduce expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care furnished by the department.
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a new innovative and cost-effective health care model that takes bureaucracy out of healthcare and offers patients a list of services, usually containing 24/7 access to a doctor. Under this pilot program, veterans will have a “Veteran Health Savings Account” that gives them the ability to purchase Direct Primary Care (DPC) service agreements while still obtaining non-primary care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
More support for the legislation:
"Health care providers and policymakers should do everything possible to maximize quality and timely access to care. That includes cutting bureaucratic red tape and implementing innovative solutions to remove barriers that keep veterans from the care they deserve. The Veterans Access to Direct Primary Care Act does just that. It would give veterans more control and choice – allowing them to take the benefits they earned to where it best serves their unique needs. It's a commonsense solution we fully endorse” said Nate Anderson, Executive Director of Concerned Veterans of America (CVA)
“This pandemic has shown us now more than ever how important the physician/patient relationship is. As direct primary care physician, even during the peak lockdowns in Texas, I was able to keep in touch with my patients by phone, video/tele visits and later in person. For an affordable monthly membership fee, my patients knew that no matter the circumstances they could keep in touch and their care was never interrupted. I recently read on one of the veteran forums about veterans who were unable to schedule appointments at the VA due to the restrictions and other disruptions due to COVID-19. The interruption in the care and red tape make it difficult for many to seek help. This bill by Representative Roy, would allow veterans to see direct primary care physician in their own communities at no cost to them. The best thing about DPC practice like mine is that it is affordable, and our patients are like family. This bill would allow veterans to choose how and where their care is delivered, and what better way to do it then close to home and by someone who is a part of their community as well” said Katarina Lindley, D.O. FACOFP, Eagle Medical Center DPC.