VA Now Allows Vets to Schedule Appointments Directly for Audiology and Optometry Care
Hearing damage and vision loss are common concerns for veterans, especially those of advanced age. Appointments for audiology and optometry care are available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system, but only after veterans obtain a referral from their primary care physician.
With the VA health care appointments still backlogged for many locations, getting in to see a primary care physician could take several weeks. Even after a veteran obtains the referral, a clinic representative has to take the referral to the optometry or audiology provider and schedule the appointment, a process that can take several weeks more.
Now, the VA is allowing veterans to schedule these hearing and optometric appointments without prior authorization. Three pilot sites tested the direct appointment process in 2015. The success of those programs has prompted the VA to expand the direct scheduling to all VA Medical Centers.
The VA is rolling out the new program across the nation starting this month. It expects all VA Medical Centers will allow direct scheduling for audiology and optometry appointments by the end of 2016.
Hearing Loss is One of the Most Common Service-Related Injuries
Hearing loss is often a service-connected disability due to veterans’ exposure to extreme noise levels during service. Many veterans also require vision care due to complications from service-connected diabetes and other diseases, along with care for the natural effects of aging.
You may be eligible for disability benefits if your hearing or vision loss relates to your service. The Disability Help Group can help you recover the benefits you deserve. Contact us at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with one of our advocates today.