Question about care inside and outside the VA

Amellom

New Member
Registered Member
My 91 year old father has been seeing the same doctor outside of the VA for several years, but they don't seem to care much anymore.
The problem is he's still prescribed pain medication he needs from the doctor but he still wants to see a doctor from the VA. There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what may happen if he goes to the VA. One person in my family seems to think that if he goes to the VA his doctor outside the VA will no longer be able to do anything for him and he would lose the ability to get the pain medication he needs and the VA somehow would absolutely refuse the medication and there is somehow a prohibition against prescribing pain medication for anyone regardless of age and need. He's 91 with dementia, mostly blind with severe stenosis of his spine not to mention the risk of forcing him to undergo withdraw from all his pain medication at his age.
Personally this sounds like a lot of scare mongering, but I'd really like some clarification of the issues.

Thanks
 

Amellom

New Member
Registered Member
My other question I left out would be by just making an appointment with a VA primary care doctor and talking about things would it jepardize his relationship with his private doctor? That seems absurd, but the argument seems to rage nonetheless.
 

RaiderX

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I use both and prefer my Civilian Doc to my VA Doc(when I can get to see her). As long as the VA doc has a list of Meds he is currently on and Treatment records it shouldn't be too much of an issues
 

Amellom

New Member
Registered Member
So no problems with having two primary care physicians? I'm living with people who seem to believe it's somehow illegal and insurance won't pay for the outside doctors if he has a primary with the VA or just merely talking with a primary at the VA is somehow the third rail and will cause problems all around. I know this sounds absurd, but it's the nonsense I have to deal with.
 

tony292

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
There is nothing wrong with it. Use both. As for pain meds there is a database so that all doctors can see all pain meds that other doctors prescribe to prevent people from getting the same opiate pain meds from different doctors and then abusing or selling them.
 

Amellom

New Member
Registered Member
There is nothing wrong with it. Use both. As for pain meds there is a database so that all doctors can see all pain meds that other doctors prescribe to prevent people from getting the same opiate pain meds from different doctors and then abusing or selling them.
Thanks. It's not a matter of abuse nor diversion. He's 90 soon to be 91. He doesn't have street contacts nor would he be even remotely interested in such. I just don't want him to have to experience painful withdraw. I went through it years ago so as far as I'm concerned it boils down to torture making elderly people go through that. Heck, it's torture for anyone much less a 90 year old person. I strongly believe forcing withdraw on a 90 year old person (especially with a lot of heart problems) runs a far higher risk of killing them than any possible benefits they might receive.
 

GUNS'N'STUFF

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
The best way to go about this would be to go to the Release Of Information (ROI) office at the VA and request the med files, then write the VA Dr. tell him/her the issues and they will contact the outside Dr. then go with files in hand to the outside physician and explain everything. That's not complicated trust me, complicated is the crap that I have been through with the VA medical system, so trust me on this and thank me later.
 

Navy757

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Just have your father keep his private primary care Doctor for medication and go to the VA for what exactly I am not sure what you are trying to accomplish? You said that his provider is not caring, so are you looking for a second opinion on his condition or treatment?

Is going to the VA more convenient for your father? What does your father want? If he has dementia will changing a long term provider add stress?

I will add that the VA and the DoD has made it a priority to reduce certain medications with opioids being at the top. In my opinion if you try to switch his prescription to the VA you risk a new approach to manage his health, including a reduction of or limitation of opioids. Is his current provider wanting to reduce his opioid use? This is a huge complaint for many elderly people during the last town hall meeting that my elected representatives held, so if that is your complaint with your father's current provider, be warned that the VA is more aggressive in opioid reduction. Good or bad that is the current political environment that we live in.
 
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