WASHINGTON, D.C.—Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo recently released the following information regarding the Veterans Choice Program.
TriWest Healthcare Alliance experienced difficulties in fully implementing the Veterans Choice Program in Guam and other U.S. Territories. Local veterans who contacted TriWest before June 1, 2015 may have been provided inaccurate information regarding the Veterans Choice Program.
Some of the problems were related to the securing and finalizing service contracts with healthcare providers in Guam. TriWest has assured Bordallo that it has finalized many of these contracts, and today more than 150 local healthcare providers will accept Veterans Choice Cards. TriWest continues to add local healthcare providers, especially for specialty medicine.
TriWest also experienced challenges with information provided through their call centers and training employees on how to handle calls from the territories. TriWest has assured Congresswoman Bordallo that it has updated the information it has provided to its employees so that they are able to manage calls from veterans in the territories and provide accurate information about the Veterans Choice Program.
Veterans must first activate their Veterans Choice Card before making an appointment. This is similar to the process for activating a credit card and can be done by calling 866-606-8198.
Veterans in Guam are not limited by the 30-day rule and can make appointments directly with TriWest immediately, without a referral from the Guam Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC). Doctors at the Guam CBOC may not be able to discuss the benefits provided by the Veterans Choice Program. Veterans are encouraged to contact TriWest directly to activate their choice cards and schedule an appointment with local providers. Additionally, veterans should schedule their appointments through TriWest to avoid payment issues if they are using an out-of-network provider.
If any veteran continues to experience difficulties in activating their Veterans Choice Card or making an appointment, they are encouraged to visit Congresswoman Bordallo’s District Office for assistance. Our office will go through the process with them and recommend any needed improvements to TriWest. Further, we will contact TriWest directly to troubleshoot specific cases to ensure each veteran who is eligible for the Choice Program is able to benefit from it.
“I recognize the frustrations that our local veterans are experiencing in trying to utilize their Veterans Choice Card, and I am committed to working to ensure that each veteran who is eligible for this program benefits from it,” said Bordallo. “TriWest continues to improve its outreach and the services it provides for veterans living in the territories. I encourage any veteran who continues to experience difficulties using their Choice Card to visit my District Office for assistance. We would like to know if there are continuing problems with the Choice Program, but we must also respect privacy laws that prevent us from addressing individual cases without the veteran’s written consent.” (PR)