North Dakota Senator John Hoeven announces a new service for the Veterans Choice Program.
It allows veterans to make appointments directly through the VA hospital.
Starting this week, people in the Veteran's Choice Program can seek all of their health care needs through Fargo's VA Medical Center.
Senator Hoeven pushed for a solution for veterans who have to travel for health care.
Now, he's made it easier for them to get direct service from the Fargo VA Medical Center.
"The idea behind the Veteran's Choice Act was that if you couldn't get an appointment at a VA facility within 30 days or you had to drive more than 40 miles, you could go to a local provider," said Sen. Hoeven. "Should have been problem solved."
But third party providers caused roadblocks for patients.
The new initiative aims to stop the dropped appointments, delayed payments and wrong locations.
"Our veterans don't have to go through those third party providers anymore and get tied up in that bureaucracy," explained Sen. Hoeven. "They can go to the Fargo VA,contact the Fargo VA and they can set up the appointment that makes sense for them."
Veterans in the Choice Program say the out of state people taking their calls often didn't understand the North Dakota and Minnesota geography.
Now, veterans who call will be answered locally in Fargo.
"For us to have the opportunity to once again provide excellent seamless health care to the veterans as they seek care in their community, it's just priceless," said Lavonne Liversage, Fargo VA Health Care System Director.
All thanks to a push by Senator Hoeven to receive care timely and locally.