There has been a large shift in the mainstream medical community. The dangers of using opiate derived medications to treat chronic pain have overwhelmed the benefits of their prescribed use. Averse results from long and short-term use have driven the medical community to search for more effective and safer treatments for these chronic pain patients.
One of the leaders in the search for better pain management solutions has been the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs. With thousands of retired veteran’s suffering from pain, the VA has implemented various new programs to help support veterans who suffer from chronic pain.
In 2013, the VA Hospitals of Phoenix, AZ started a pilot program to investigate the benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic pain. Phoenix VA Acupuncture was honored to participate in this 2-year pilot study. We were able to treat patients in this groundbreaking program and found that it helped with veteran’s pain and reduced the amount of pain medications taken.
The pilot study was able to demonstrate the multifaceted benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Patient’s positive experiences, combined with the lack of side effects from acupuncture, pushed for the creation of the Veteran’s Choice Program. Veteran’s Choice Program (VCP) is a national initiative focused to help veterans find effective alternatives to reduce the need for pain medications. True Acupuncture was honored as an approved provider. In just 5 short months, we have started care for 25 new veterans, and the number of new patients grew daily.
The Veteran’s Choice Program is open to all veterans dealing with chronic pain. Most patients are eligible for up to 48 visits per year, which allows for weekly acupuncture visits. The VA covers all costs, and the veterans are able to schedule their personal appointments directly with the Choice program.
In order to enroll, veterans need to contact their VA physician and request to be enrolled into the program. No patients will be denied the ability to access this care.
If you, a friend and/or veteran family member are interested in this program, feel free to contact our office and we will help you get started on this wonderful new benefit for veterans.