Family Health Center no longer in Veterans Choice
July 1, 2021
Once upon a time, local veterans were able to visit Cowlitz Family Health Center clinics, including the clinic in Cathlamet, to see a provider thanks to the Veteran’s Choice Program, instead of traveling farther afield to receive health care at a Veterans Affairs facility.
Not any more.
In a recent email, Family Health Center Director Jim Coffee cited several reasons the contract with Veteran’s Choice was dropped:
“They stopped paying us for services rendered," he said. "When we received a prior authorization for care, it was specific for that issue; if there were any other issues discovered, those services were denied.
"Veterans were required to use a VA pharmacy for any medications; they were not allowed to be filled locally.
"Any referral to specialty care was denied, and the vet would need to be seen at the VA to get a referral.
"Many of the Veterans we were seeing would then need to be seen at a VA facility again anyway.
“These types of issues became a liability to FHC for continuity of care,” Coffee said, “so it was decided to discontinue our contract with that program.”