Alaska VA launches pilot program to schedule appointments

The Alaska Veterans Affairs Healthcare System has launched a pilot program to revert the process of scheduling appointments to how it was before reforms.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports that Alaska veterans will no longer have to call a third-party company to schedule appointments, as they did with the nationwide Choice Program. Instead, they will speak directly to Alaska VA staff.

The change comes after a Senate committee field hearing in Eagle River in August. At the meeting, veterans were highly critical of the Choice Program, which was supposed to increase health care access. Many veterans and health care officials said the program instead added more bureaucracy to trying to make appointments and pay bills.