Thursday, July 6, 2017

Veterans Run Into Problems with VA Transplant Coverage

As veterans die while waiting for organ transplants, Texans lead fight to fix VA policy
Dallas Morning News
Camille Caldera
July 6, 2017
The Nelsons decided to pay for the surgery with Medicare and assistance from the hospital, which donated some services. Later, the VA apologized and agreed to cover the deductibles from the operation.
Tamara, left, Charles, and Coty Nelson pose for a photograph at their Leander, Texas home Sunday, July 2, 2017.
(Ryan Michalesko/Staff Photographer)
WASHINGTON — When Charles Nelson — a disabled Army veteran from Leander — learned he would need a kidney transplant, his son volunteered.

Coty Nelson, 28, was a perfect match. And the Nelsons qualified for a program called Veterans Choice that let them receive care at a local facility instead of traveling out of state to a Veterans Affairs transplant center.

But Coty isn't a veteran — so that means they couldn't get coverage under the program. Other veterans seeking transplants from civilians also have been affected, and Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, has introduced a bill in Congress to allow coverage for civilian-to-veteran transplants.
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