Milestone: It is Kick-off day for the Mission Act!
June 6, 2019 – It is Kick-off day! The Mission Act of 2018 has arrived. Today, I spoke to Daniel at the Community Care Center about my authorizations that are being handled through the Mission Act. They are now PC3 (Patient Center) consults. He was very professional and answered all of my questions.
Daniel told me all of the old Choice consults needed to be closed as of June 5th. Most of the providers in Orlando submitted re-evaluations with requests for additional visits prior to June 5th with the Mission Act in mind. Very helpful! If a consult wasn’t closed, in Orlando they are working today to get them converted. Please make sure your provider is NOT working on a CHOICE consult as it will not be honored. You have some responsibility to make sure the provider follows through to get their consult converted. It is not hard.
Veterans who were eligible for community care under CHOICE should speak to their VA care team or a VA staff member at their local VA medical facility about their eligibility for the new community care after June 6, 2019.
Adverse Credit Reporting
Should you be experiencing any kind of collections or credit issues related to a VA authorization, it can be very frustrating. I have personally experienced providers trying to collect from me. My advice is DO NOT SIGN ANY PLACE ON THEIR PATIENT FORMS THAT STATE YOU WILL BE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT. If they question you, tell them you are receiving treatment from them because they have a contract between their “clinic” or “facility” and the Veterans Administration. Therefore, they are not allowed by federal law to bill you.
Additionally, make sure the provider does not provide any services that are not on the actual authorization as they will not be paid. For instance, if the provider does a test that was not authorized it will not be paid and this can be an expensive mistake. It is up to you to be the watchdog and self-advocate as any overcharges will be your responsibility, although I believe in court you could argue they should not have provided any services that were not authorized.
Speaking of authorized services, if any charges that were authorized get to your credit report, you can write all the credit reporting agencies and ask for them to be removed. You simply say:
“I am a veteran of the armed services who received care by (provider) on (date(s) of service). This care was authorized in full by the Veterans Administration (authorization attached) and was paid in full. I am enclosing the statement from the Veterans Administration showing the provider was paid. According to Federal Law the provider is not allowed to balance bill a veteran.”Kimberly Alexander Jones, Paralegal
You can get a printed copy of your authorization from your PCP and a copy of the payment statement should have come to you in the mail. Do not throw those statements away. They should be saved just in case you need them and attached to your authorization. If you don’t have the billing statement you need, you should be able to get a copy from the VA.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post them and I will as experts then write a post with the answers.