A Veterans Affairs program meant to get veterans healthcare fast is not compensating some healthcare providers. Reporter Stephanie Earls with the Colorado Springs Gazette tells Colorado Matters that doctors seeing patients through the Veterans Choice program have largely worked out of a sense of "duty" to give back to the veterans and the military, and have struggled to get paid for their services.
Veterans Choice was created to help alleviate a backlog for treatment at VA medical facilities, and allows patients to see doctors outside the VA system. That is important in Colorado Springs, which has one of the largest populations of veterans in the country. The closest VA hospital is in Denver.
Earls recently wrote about Army veteran Jason White, who tried to kill himself when he got back from Afghanistan. His gun jammed, saving his life, and after his suicide attempt, he started seeing a psychologist, which he says helped a lot. What White didn't realize is that his therapist wasn't getting paid.