Gardner Statement on Reforms to VA Choice Program

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today released the below statement after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it eliminated the requirement that Choice providers submit veterans’ medical records in order to receive payment. The announcement follows a letter Gardner sent to Secretary Robert McDonald demanding answers from the VA following a number of complaints about the VA’s failure to reimburse medical providers for their services to veterans. 

“The VA’s mismanagement of the Choice program has led to denial of care or delayed care for many Colorado veterans, which is exactly what the program was created to address,” said Gardner. “The VA’s effort to expedite payment to Choice providers represents a step in the right direction. There is much more work to be done, however, to repair a broken system that has failed Coloradans across the state. I’ll monitor the VA’s progress to fix its inexcusable implementation of the Choice program, and I’ll continue to demand action from the VA and not settle for anything less than its delivery of the best possible care to veterans throughout the country.”  

Established by the bipartisan Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act, the Choice program stipulates veterans who are not able to be seen in a timely manner to seek care at non-VA facilities and those facilities are to be reimbursed by the VA. In February of 2016,  reports indicated that many non-VA providers are experiencing significant delays in reimbursement, and many of these providers now refuse to see veterans because of the VA’s poor management of the Choice program.  



Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.


354 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

(202) 224-5941