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VA conducts phone survey about pharmacy-only benefits

VA to survey enrollees and nonenrolled veterans:

The Department of Veterans Affairs will conduct a survey to explore the attitudes of veterans with regards to the potential of a pharmacy-only benefit. This eight-minute telephone survey started Jan. 26 and will include 1,800 veterans (600 enrollee users, enrollee nonusers and nonenrolled veterans). The results will be analyzed by enrollee user, enrollee nonuser and nonenrolled veteran, priority level and age (under/over 65). Questions will identify those veterans who would choose a prescription only, including investigating the impact of different copayment levels on choice. Data will also be collected to support analyses: awareness of VA health care system, number of chronic medications taken daily, age, ZIP code, service-connected disability status, public and private insurance coverage and income. Veterans with questions about the survey may call Ruth Hoffman, (202) 273-8934.

Military retiree appreciation day:

Military retirees and family members are invited to attend the 2004 Florida Military Retiree Appreciation Day at 9:15 a.m. Feb. 28 at Steinbrenner's Ramada Inn and Conference Center, 3810 NW Bonnie Heath Blvd. (U.S. 27), Ocala, off Interstate 75, exit 70. The Fort Stewart Retirement Services Office and the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) along with Fort Stewart, Ga., will host this event.

The speakers' program will provide information on current legislative issues and other pertinent military retiree issues. Immediately following the speakers will be a "county fair" featuring representatives from the Fort Stewart Retirement Services Office, Casualty Assistance Office, Social Security, Veterans Services, TRICARE, Delta Dental, DAV State Headquarters' Mobile Unit, AUSA and other organizations.

Individual counseling and personal assistance will be available during the county fair, as well as the issuance of military ID cards. Retirees and dependents needing ID cards should bring supporting documentation i.e. valid picture ID, discharge documents (DD-214), retirement orders, marriage license, birth certificates (for dependent children), certificate of enrollment on school letterhead for dependents under 23 attending college full time, Medicare cards, Social Security cards and death certificates.

It's better to have too much supporting documentation than not enough.

For information, contact the Fort Stewart Retirement Services Office, (912) 767-3326 or 5013 or e-mail

VA clinic staffing to increase:

The number of doctors at the Inverness VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) will increase by one. A recent decision by the VA will also include support personnel for the new doctor. VA is actively recruiting and hopes to have the team in place within months.

During that recruiting period a temporary doctor will be brought in. Additionally, a psychologist has been added to the staff and is available two days a week. Also, a social worker has been hired and is currently undergoing VA orientation and will be on board within 30 days.

CBOC Inverness is also increasing the use of video conferencing to address specialty problems and expand patient education programs. The patient load at Inverness is approximately 4,000, and the rate of growth in patient load is almost 100 a month. This is great news for our Citrus County Veterans and will also provide for some relief for the staff at CBOC Inverness.

_ This information was supplied by J.J. Kenney of the Citrus County Veterans Service Office. For information, call 527-5411.

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