Ascension Health to woo veterans in ads

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Associated Press

BY CARLA K. JOHNSON

A leading hospital system in the U.S. is courting military veterans with a multimillion-dollar ad campaign, sparking concern from some veterans groups that such a marketing push could weaken the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system.

The campaign tag lines — “Veterans have a choice in healthcare” and “You honored your oath, and so do we” — emphasize consumer preference and the shared values of medical professionals and the military.

Starting Monday, TV, radio, print and online ads by Edmundson-based Ascension Health will urge veterans to call a hire vetstoll-free number for information about Veterans Choice, the cornerstone of the VA overhaul approved in 2014, which makes it easier for veterans to receive federally paid medical care from local doctors.

Ascension is both the nation’s largest nonprofit and Catholic health care system, with facilities in 24 states. Veterans say it’s the first large-scale marketing to Choice-eligible veterans.

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