The VA is all ears
Between the fall of 2017 and September 2018, 1.6 million of us were surveyed about our trust in Department of Veterans Affairs health care after we’d had an outpatient appointment for anything from physical therapy and primary care to cardiology and mental health. A VA press release says that our trust level in VA health care rose 2.4 percent during that period. The trust number now is at 88 percent, with a VA target goal of 90 percent by September 2019.
There’s another number, however, buried in the actual survey results, that might be even more important. Respondents were asked to reply on a scale of 1-5 (Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree) to the following statement: “I trust VA to fulfill our country’s commitment to Veterans.” The current tally for that is only 67 percent. Per the survey’s goal statement, the VA is hoping to raise that number to 90 percent in one year.
Your best bet: If you receive a non-medical VA benefit or service and you get one of those surveys, respond. Fill it out. Be honest. A typical VA survey might get only a 20 percent response rate. If there’s space to leave comments, do that.
If you’re a veteran, caregiver, dependent or service provider (for example, a funeral home), and if you have an email address on record with the VA, you’ll likely get an email invitation to participate within the quarter. If you’re a veteran and you receive a health-care service, you’ll likely get your email invitation to fill out the survey within two weeks.
Right now, they’re listening. Don’t let them set policy or rules (or budget) based on the opinion of only 20 percent of those surveyed. Make sure your voice is heard.