Political Wrinkles  

Go Back   Political Wrinkles > Political Forums > History, Geography, & Military
Register FAQDonate PW Store PW Trivia Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

History, Geography, & Military Discuss VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog at the Political Forums; Acting undersecretary for VA Health Care System Steps Down... Chief of VA Health Care System Steps Down 7 Oct 2017 ...

Reply
 
Share LinkBack (1) Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41 (permalink)  
Old 10-07-2017, 04:59 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Okolona
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,220
Thanks: 1,645
Thanked 612 Times in 524 Posts
Angry Re: VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog

Acting undersecretary for VA Health Care System Steps Down...

Chief of VA Health Care System Steps Down
7 Oct 2017 | Dr. Poonam Alaigh, acting undersecretary for health since May, told VA employees that she was resigning for family reasons.
Quote:
The leader of the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system unexpectedly stepped down from her position, effective Saturday, leaving three top VA positions unfilled by permanent undersecretaries. Dr. Poonam Alaigh, the acting undersecretary for health since May, sent a message to VA employees last week informing them she was resigning for family reasons. "I have made the difficult decision to step down," Alaigh wrote. "I want you to know that it has been my greatest honor to serve [VA Secretary David Shulkin], each one of you and all of our veterans. As I prepare to now leave Washington, I thank you sincerely for what you have helped us to accomplish."

Alaigh will be replaced by Dr. Carolyn Clancy, who will take the position in an interim role. Clancy has been with the VA for more than 10 years and will now oversee a health system comprising more than 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics that serves 9 million veterans. The job switches hands during a time when the VA is wrangling with significant changes on how it delivers health care. The VA and Congress are expected to introduce proposals this month to overhaul the Veterans Choice Program, which allows some veterans to seek care in the private sector. In addition to the undersecretary for health, the chiefs of the VA's two other sectors -- benefits and cemeteries -- are also temporarily filled.


A screen grab shows Dr. Poonam Alaigh as seen in a July 2011 video post. According to an Oct. 6 report, Alaigh was to resign her post as the VA's acting undersecretary for health.

In March, the VA established a search commission to find a permanent undersecretary of benefits, responsible for overseeing 60 regional benefits offices that distribute billions of dollars each year among more than four million veterans. The commission was expected to find a person to fill the role by April 20, according to a VA news release. Similarly, the agency created a search commission in April to find an undersecretary of health. The VA reported it would find one by May 22. VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour said Friday that the VA was "making steady progress" in the search. "Our primary goal is to find the right permanent official for these critical leadership roles, rather than simply fill for expedience," he said.

On Sept. 1, President Donald Trump nominated Randy Reeves as the VA undersecretary for memorial affairs. The person in that position manages the National Cemetery Administration and the country's 135 veterans cemeteries. Reeves -- a Navy veteran and executive director of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board -- was questioned by the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on Wednesday and he must be confirmed by the full Senate before he can take the position. Trump nominated Thomas Bowman to the VA's No. 2 position June 21 and the Senate confirmed him Aug. 3 as the new VA deputy secretary.

Chief of VA Health Care System Steps Down | Military.com
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to waltky For This Useful Post:
  #42 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2017, 06:25 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Okolona
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,220
Thanks: 1,645
Thanked 612 Times in 524 Posts
Cool Re: VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog

VA spending under scrutiny...

Senators Call for More Oversight of VA Spending
10 Oct 2017 | WASHINGTON -- A group of senators is seeking assurances that money spent on private health care for veterans is well-managed.
Quote:
A group of senators led by Arizona Republican John McCain is seeking assurances that money spent on private health care for veterans is well-managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. McCain and Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Tim Kaine, D-Va.; and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced legislation to prevent future funding crises at the VA that put veterans' health care and benefits at risk. The "VA Financial Accountability Act" is a response to the multiple funding shortfalls this year in the Veterans Choice Program, which allows veterans to seek care in the private sector. "Over the past several months, we've seen the VA lurch from funding crisis to funding crisis because of its inability to effectively manage its budget," McCain said in a prepared statement. "Our veterans deserve to have certainty that their access to quality care in the community through the Veterans Choice Program will continue uninterrupted."

McCain helped create the Choice program in 2014, following the VA wait-time scandal that was first discovered at the VA hospital in Phoenix. VA Secretary David Shulkin alerted senators in June that the Choice program was quickly and unexpectedly running out of money. Veterans with long-term medical issues reported their health care was interrupted as requests for appointments through the program accumulated. The VA also warned the funding shortage could cause layoffs at third-party administrators. Two months later, Congress passed a $2.1 billion emergency funding measure -- just days before the account was expected to be depleted. There's now concern that the Choice program is facing another shortfall. The funding provided the VA in August was estimated to last until February. The VA's latest estimate is the money will run out before January.


Lt. Liezl Dagum, a nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville's intensive care unit, performs a saline flush of a patient's intravenous line

Shulkin has attributed the funding shortfalls to the program's increased popularity and the difficulty of estimating how much money will be needed. "It's a very, very hard program to do accurate financial projections," he said Sept. 29 after a Senate hearing. The VA Financial Accountability Act would require the VA to hire an independent auditor to review the agency's financial processes and make recommendations. It also calls for the VA to make emergency funding requests at least 45 days before veterans' health care or benefits are affected. Also under the bill, the VA's chief financial officer must sign off on the department's annual budget request. "It was troubling to hear recently that the VA will need additional money for the Choice program earlier than expected after Congress just authorized more funding for it," Kaine said in a prepared statement. "The VA's uncertainty about exactly when Choice funding will be run out affects Congress' ability to responsibly budget."

The Choice program has been criticized as complex and bureaucratic, and Congress is beginning a debate this fall about how to reform it. Shulkin said he expects legislation to be passed by mid-November -- before there's another funding crisis. There's likely to be conflict in the debate, as some major veterans' groups have expressed concern the billions of dollars going toward private-sector care is undermining the VA system. McCain also said the reform efforts would "continue to face difficulty" until the VA gets a grasp on its finances. "The VA's inability to provide Congress with an accurate budget is hurting veterans and taxpayers across this nation," Tester said in a prepared statement. "We can't keep throwing money at the VA without more accountability over their budget and spending practices."

https://www.military.com/daily-news/...-spending.html
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to waltky For This Useful Post:
  #43 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2017, 09:48 PM
mlurp's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Flatlands
Gender: Male
Posts: 37,487
Thanks: 19,199
Thanked 10,926 Times in 8,521 Posts
Default Re: VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog

Great news... Start chopping the bigger fish to clean up failures..
__________________


Improvise - Adapt - Over Come...
Reply With Quote
  #44 (permalink)  
Old 10-17-2017, 02:53 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Okolona
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,220
Thanks: 1,645
Thanked 612 Times in 524 Posts
Question Re: VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog

Vets Must Apply Online for New VA ID Card...

Vets Must Apply Online for New VA ID Card
16 Oct 2017 | Honorably discharged veterans of all eras who want a new identification card from the Department of Veterans Affairs will be able to apply online by registering with the VA and uploading a photo, officials said.
Quote:
Officials had previously told Military.com that the process will include an online application, but offered no further details. A 2015 law requires the VA to issue a hard-copy photo ID to any honorably discharged veteran who applies. The card must contain the veteran's name, photo and a non-Social Security identification number, the law states. To apply for the card, veterans must register with Vets.gov, a process that authenticates users through the ID.me system, VA officials told Military.com on Oct. 16. Doing so requires users to upload a copy of a valid government photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport, and provide their Social Security number, among other information.

To complete the card application process, users will then upload a recent photo to the VA site that can be printed on the ID card, according to a lawmaker who introduced the legislation requiring the IDs. The cards will be directly mailed to the veteran. No further information was available as to when in November applications will open, the turnaround time for the IDs or a specific address on the VA website where veterans can apply.


Veterans will be able to register online for the new ID card being issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The ID cards are meant to offer a way for veterans to prove their service without carrying a copy of their DD214, which contains sensitive personal information such as veterans' Social Security numbers. The new IDs will not, however, qualify as official government-issued identification for air travel or other uses. "Every veteran -- past, present, and future -- will now be able to prove their military service without the added risk of identity theft," said Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Florida Republican who introduced the ID card legislation in 2015. "These ID cards will make life a little bit easier for our veterans." The VA already offers ID cards to some veterans.

Those who receive health care from the VA or have a disability rating can get a photo ID VA health card, also known as a Veteran Health Identification Card. Military retirees also hold an ID card issued by the Defense Department. Veterans are able to get a proof of service letter through the VA's ebenefits website. And some states will include a veteran designation on driver's licenses if requested. The new VA ID card program begins as the military exchange system opens online shopping to honorably discharged veterans of all eras. That benefit, which will officially launch on Veterans Day, requires veterans to first be verified before they can shop. The benefit does not allow shopping at brick and mortar exchange stores or the commissary and does not include base access.

Vets Must Apply Online for New VA ID Card | Military.com
See also:

Retirees, VA Disability Recipients to Get Biggest Pay Raise Since 2012
13 Oct 2017 | Military retirees and those who receive disability checks and some other types of pay from the Department of Veterans Affairs will see a 2 percent pay raise in their monthly paychecks in 2018.
Quote:
It is the biggest cost of living (COLA) increase since 2012, equaling as much as $310 a month for those at the top of the retirement pay charts.

Many Monthly Benefits Going Up

Thanks to the increase, the average military retirement check for an E-7 with 20 years of service will go up by $46 a month, while an O-5 with the same time in uniform will see an $88 monthly increase. Disabled veterans will also see a bump, with the average VA disability check going up about $3 per month for those with a 10 percent rating, and $58 for those rated at 100 percent. Other users, including Survivor Benefit Plan beneficiaries and those who draw Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), can also expect to benefit from the bump. Military retirees and VA beneficiaries aren't the only ones who benefit from the COLA increase. Civil service retirees will also see the 2 percent jump in their monthly checks. And for Social Security recipients, the monthly increase will mean an extra $25 per month for the average beneficiary.


Biggest COLA Bump in Years

Most government payments see a COLA increase every year. The increase, which is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), makes sure payments keep up with inflation. Recipients can thank a big jump in the cost of gasoline due to Hurricane Harvey for the jump in the CPI that caused this year's COLA boost. The COLA affects benefits for more than 70 million U.S. residents, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, federal retirees, and retired military members. That's about one in every five Americans. Last year, the COLA increase was 0.3 percent; in 2015, retirees saw their checks remain at 2014 levels.

Lower Than the Active-Duty Pay Raise?

Congress is still hashing out the pay raise currently serving troops will receive for 2018. Both a proposal passed by the Senate and a White House plan mandate a 2.1 percent increase. A measure passed by the House would instead give troops a 2.3 percent increase. A decision on just what those troops will receive -- and whether what retirees and VA users will receive is lower -- has yet to be made. Lawmakers have recently started closed-door negotiations on the proposals. Unlike that active-duty pay raise, the bump received by retirees and VA users does not require an act of Congress to go into effect. Those groups will see their pay raise in January regardless of what Congress does for current troops.

Retirees, VA Disability Recipients to Get Biggest Pay Raise Since 2012 | Military.com
Reply With Quote
  #45 (permalink)  
Old 10-20-2017, 08:15 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Okolona
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,220
Thanks: 1,645
Thanked 612 Times in 524 Posts
Angry Re: VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog

Politicians Outraged Over Vet's Death at VA Hospital...

Politicians Share Outrage Over Vet's Death at VA Hospital
19 Oct 2017 | A nurse's aide was playing video games on her computer when she should have checked in on the patient.
Quote:
Members of the Bay State congressional delegation expressed outrage after a Vietnam veteran who required round-the-clock care died at the Bedford VA Medical Center. The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that Bill Nutter, who had lost both legs to diabetes and had a condition in which his heart could stop, died at the veterans' hospital in July 2016 after a night-shift aide failed to check on him. U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark said in an emailed statement: "When families trust the well-being of their loved ones to the VA, they deserve the peace of mind that comes with quality, compassionate care. That any veteran is subject to the treatment described today is unconscionable, and we must use every available resource to not only get to the bottom of what happened at the Bedford VA, but also to make sure it never happens again."


U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) (C) speaks as (L-R) Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) listen during a news conference at the Capitol April 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Matt Corridoni, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, said Moulton was expected to have a phone conversation with Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin Wednesday to discuss Nutter's death. The Globe reported Shulkin's office suspended the nurse's aide with pay. The aide was supposed to make hourly checks on Nutter. The aide was playing video games on her computer when she should have checked in on Nutter, the report said. The VA inspector general is investigating the allegations against the aide with assistance from the FBI and U.S. Attorney General's Office, the report said.

Michael Hartigan, a spokesman for U.S. Rep Niki Tsongas, said in a statement: "A primary concern of hers has been that the Bedford VA has been without a permanent director for so long. She has repeatedly requested that VA and Administration officials update her directly with regard to actions they are taking to address complaints raised not only in these articles, but also by veterans who have reached out to our office directly." U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted: "This is a disgrace. Our veterans deserve better. I'll be demanding answers and accountability from @DeptVetAffairs."

Politicians Share Outrage Over Vet's Death at VA Hospital | Military.com
See also:

Training on Veteran Suicides Set at Nevada Prisons
19 Oct 2017 — Four months after he enlisted in the Army, John Morse IV was in Iraq. Last year, he hanged himself in a Nevada prison.
Quote:
Four months after he enlisted in the U.S. Army at 18, John Morse IV was on the front lines in Iraq training the sights of laser range finders on combat targets to be shelled. For the next four years, the fire-support specialist watched dozens of people in his unit die, saw missile fire kill civilians and witnessed the aftermath of a mass beheading. Last year, the 27-year-old who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder hanged himself in a Nevada prison. His family was awarded a $93,000 settlement last week in a wrongful death suit accusing the Nevada Department of Corrections, a state psychiatrist and state psychologist of ignoring Morse's mental illness.

More important than the money, his family says, is the state's commitment to launch a new suicide training protocol for prison workers intended to help jailed combat veterans like their son — a decorated war hero they say deserved better. "He entered the war a healthy, happy teenager and returned a devastated shell, emotionally ravaged and physically scarred," according to the lawsuit filed in April by his widow, Stephanie Morse, and parents Debbie and John Morse III. They had sought $800,000 in damages. "Nothing can replace my son, but I'm satisfied," the father said. The state initially offered $25,000 then agreed to the settlement in U.S. District Court in Reno — $92,500 for the family, $500 for a plaque or memorial.


John Morse IV poses in Reno, Nev. The state of Nevada has agreed to pay $93,000 to settle a wrongful death suit filed by the family of the 27-year-old U.S. Army veteran.

John Morse IV earned a half-dozen medals, including the Iraq Campaign medal, before he returned to his family in 2009. He briefly worked as a casino security guard and in a fast-food restaurant but was soon unable to work or function in society, the lawsuit said. He "became preoccupied with religious delusion, space aliens, suicide and the unrelenting death and devastation he witnessed," the lawsuit said. He gave away his money and lived under a bridge. His father remembers the day his son telephoned from Iraq to tell him about "walking into a room and seeing a bunch of women beheaded." "My heart literally broke," his father said. "I knew he'd never be the same again. ... But I had no idea how badly John was hurt inside. It's hard to tell when there are no physical, visual impairments."

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs concluded in a report last year that 20 veterans a day commit suicide. An updated study released last month found the national suicide rate among veterans was more than double the rate for the general population. It said Montana, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico had the highest rates of veteran suicide as of 2014 — at least 60 for every 100,000 veterans. VA doctors diagnosed Morse with PTSD and paranoid schizophrenia in 2010. He went to prison in 2015 after attempting suicide and threatening to kill his girlfriend in a bizarre "blood covenant," but he received no medication, counseling or treatment behind bars and was placed in the general population, the lawsuit stated. Based on his pre-sentencing report, prison officials should have known Morse was a potentially suicidal PTSD victim who experienced flashbacks and had been prescribed medications for paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disease, according to the lawsuit filed by Reno lawyers Terri Keyser-Cooper and Luke Busby.

They said Morse should have been monitored and treated inside one of two psychiatric units at the prison in Carson City. "If he had been placed in either ... he would be alive today," Keyser-Cooper said. State lawyers said in July that all three defendants in the case denied the allegations and had considerable evidence to support their defense. They later agreed to the settlement and new training in consultation with suicide prevention experts. It's not clear when that training will begin. Monica Moazez, a spokeswoman for state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, referred requests for comment to the Department of Corrections. The agency has "implemented a number of veteran integration programs which are quite successful and (is) always considering incorporating more evidence based programs in support of incarcerated veterans," department spokeswoman Brooke Keast said in an email.

Training on Veteran Suicides Set at Nevada Prisons | Military.com
Reply With Quote
  #46 (permalink)  
Old 10-21-2017, 01:24 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Okolona
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,220
Thanks: 1,645
Thanked 612 Times in 524 Posts
Red face Re: VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog

That ought to cut down on the wait times...

Veterans with 'Bad Paper' Won't Get New VA ID Cards
20 Oct 2017 | WASHINGTON -- Starting next month, vets can register for ID cards to prove their military history, but not everyone who has served will get one.
Quote:
The Department of Veterans Affairs will provide free, hard-copy identification cards that include their names, photos and an identification number. The rollout is the result of legislation Congress passed in 2015 to make it easier for veterans to receive things such as discounts at stores and restaurants. Some veterans groups applauded the legislation at the time, saying it would be easier and safer than having veterans carry around their DD214s -- certificates of release or discharge that contain sensitive information. It's unsure when the cards will be available in November, or how long it will take to process applications for them. The design is also still being finalized. But one thing is certain: Cards won't be available to veterans with other-than-honorable discharges. "Only those veterans with honorable service will be eligible for the ID card," VA spokesman Curt Cashour said Wednesday.

That has prompted anger by some veterans, who see it as setback despite recent progress the government has made in how it treats vets with other-than-honorable discharges, known as "bad paper." In July, the VA began providing urgent mental health care to veterans with other-than-honorable discharges -- aid that previously wasn't available. The following month, the Defense Department issued a sweeping policy change to afford more leeway to veterans seeking upgrades to their other-than-honorable discharges. "This is a step backward," said Tyson Manker, a former infantry Marine who received an other-than-honorable discharge after he returned from a 2003 deployment. Kristofer Goldsmith, an assistant director for policy and government affairs at Vietnam Veterans of America and founder of High Ground Veterans Advocacy, said he appealed to VA Secretary David Shulkin to allow all veterans to receive the cards.


Application declined.

The bill passed in 2015 does not mention limiting the cards to veterans with honorable discharges. Cashour did not explain the eligibility restriction. "They're being denied their very identity as a veteran," said Goldsmith, an Iraq War veteran who was discharged for misconduct after a suicide attempt. "They face this at multiple points in their life. A lot of folks just think the point of discharge is the punishment, but these administrative discharges are lifetime sentences." Experts have cited various reasons service members could've unfairly received bad paper. From World War II to 2011, when the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy was repealed, veterans were other-than-honorably discharged for being gay. Others have struggled with service-related post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma or other disorders that affected their behavior and led to their bad paper.

The Government Accountability Office released a report in May stating more than 57,000 service members suffering from PTSD, TBI or adjustment; and anxiety, bipolar and substance abuse disorders were separated from the military for misconduct from 2011 through 2015. Manker was 21 and dealing with mental health issues when he was accused of smoking marijuana off base, he said. His discharge initially prevented him from receiving VA services, but he recently won his fight to secure benefits. Being rejected the new identification cards means another fight to prove his status as a veteran, he said. "Once again, here we are, and 'bad paper' veterans are getting pushed aside and forgotten about like they're not veterans," Manker said. "It's shameful. This just turns the knife in a little bit deeper."

Veterans with 'Bad Paper' Won't Get New VA ID Cards | Military.com
See also:

Veteran, Glass Artist Falsified His Military Record
20 Oct 2017 - John Garofalo falsely claimed he served as a Navy SEAL.
Quote:
On Sunday, Oct. 8, Fox News Channel aired a story about John Garofalo, a glass artist who created a presidential glass seal in the hopes of gifting it to President Trump. Garofalo claimed he was a Vietnam veteran, a member of the first U.S. Navy SEAL team, and a decorated war hero who was awarded two Purple Hearts.


John Garofalo falsely claimed he was a Vietnam veteran, a member of the first U.S. Navy SEAL team, and a decorated war hero who was awarded two Purple Hearts

Unfortunately, all of Garofalo's claims turned out to be untrue. The fact is that he did not serve in Vietnam. He was never a U.S. Navy SEAL. Even though he showed us medals, Garofalo was not awarded two Purple Hearts or any of the other nearly two dozen commendations he claimed to have received, except for the National Defense Service Medal. It is true that Garafalo is a glass artist and a veteran. He served in Spain and he gifted two presidential seals to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Over the last two weeks, we've worked with Garofalo's family and the National Personnel Records Center to get to the bottom of a military past that Garofalo had claimed to be covert. We apologize to our viewers, especially veterans and servicemen and women.

Veteran, Glass Artist Falsified His Military Record | Military.com
Reply With Quote
  #47 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2017, 12:49 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Okolona
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,220
Thanks: 1,645
Thanked 612 Times in 524 Posts
Cool Re: VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog

Reducing costs w/ better healthcare for vets...

VA: Letting Vets Seek Community Healthcare Will Save Billions
October 24, 2017 - Allowing more veterans to seek medical care outside VA facilities will save taxpayers billions of dollars over the next decade, top VA officials said.
Quote:
VA Secretary David Shulkin on Monday said increasing private care options under the proposed Coordinated Access and Rewarding Experiences, or CARE, Act would result in an estimated “billions” of dollars in savings — largely from reduced administrative costs — over a 10-year period. “Under the Veteran Care Act, veterans will have new access to a network of walk-in clinics for occasional needs such as minor illnesses and injuries,” he said. “We’re proposing consolidating Choice and all of VA’s community care programs into a single program.” His comments came during a hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, headed by Rep. Dr. Phil Roe, a Republican from Tennessee.

How It Could Work

Shulkin didn’t go into details on the proposed program’s cost or implementation plan, but he did lay out its general framework. Under the CARE Act, the department would allow a veteran to see a non-VA doctor for a number of reasons, including if the department is unable to supply an in-house appointment within a reasonable amount of time, if the veteran has to travel too far to see a doctor or if the nearest VA facility doesn’t meet the “standards of access and quality of care.” The secretary’s testimony didn’t fully outline how the VA would determine whether or not a department facility is meeting standards of access and quality of care. The VA website does have data comparing their medical facilities to civilian healthcare, but the information is somewhat limited.


Shulkin was also vague on what a veteran will be able to do if unhappy with treatment received at a VA facility. In the civilian world, people can simply go to a different doctor. But the secretary only said treatment would be based on “clinical criteria,” and that the decision to send him or her to a civilian doctor would be made by the veteran and a doctor. Representatives agreed with the Shulkin’s opinion that the new program would most help rural veterans. Under the new program, rural vets would be assigned to a civilian doctor, and wouldn’t have to get VA approval to visit that doctor each time they needed healthcare.

Care to Replace Choice

The CARE Act is designed to replace the existing VA Choice program, which is projected to run out of funding by the end of the year. Under the current Choice program, veterans can see a civilian doctor if they cannot get an appointment with the VA within 30 days, or if they must travel more than 40 miles to see a department doctor. Veterans in certain locations, such as Alaska, are also automatically enrolled in Choice regardless of their proximity to the VA hospital.

Under Choice, the VA makes civilian appointments for eligible veterans, and subsequently takes care of all the payments. But some civilian doctors have complained that the VA takes too long to pay, or doesn’t pay them enough. The VA hasn’t said how the appointment process would work under the proposed CARE program, but they plan on automating the payment process to attract more civilian doctors to the system.

New Access to Urgent Care
Reply With Quote
  #48 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2017, 03:38 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Okolona
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,220
Thanks: 1,645
Thanked 612 Times in 524 Posts
Red face Re: VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog

Granny says, "Dat's right - the more things change, the more dey remain the same...

Will the VA's Transformation End Before it Really Begins?
3 Nov 2017 | There are rumors in the media that Shulkin interviewed for Tom Price's former Secretary of Health and Human Services role.
Quote:
David Shulkin, MD, has been a transformative force within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) during his two-year tenure. But now there are rumors in The Washington Post that he interviewed for Tom Price's former Secretary of Health and Human Services role. Shulkin brings what The New York Times calls a "tireless focus on efficiency" from his private sector career in healthcare management. At the VA, Shulkin has already made waves by setting up online appointment booking for patients, releasing data around patient wait times, and shifting to a surprising electronic health record (EHR) vendor.

He has developed a reputation for making change happen and cutting through bureaucracy. As undersecretary, when his staff said it would take almost a year to plan an event to discuss veteran suicides, Dr. Shulkin said the delay would cost 6,000 veteran lives and successfully pushed to hold the summit in a month instead. This possible exit comes just as the VA is about to roll out its master plan for ensuring every veteran has access to timely, quality care -- and at a time when the healthcare sector has just started to see the results of what Shulkin's focus on efficiency and technology could deliver.


Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is seen at the Veterans Affairs Department in Washington.

The VA is roughly the same size as Kaiser Permanente, but easily lags a decade behind the HMO. Where Kaiser manages a physician-to-patient ratio of 554 to 1 -- one doctor for every 554 patients -- the VA is 55% behind at just 356 to 1. Kaiser transformed this metric over a decade through a focus on better matching of projected patient volumes with provider capacities, telemedicine, use of mid-levels, and smarter physician shift scheduling -- the kinds of transformations Shulkin is known for. If the VA could match Kaiser's physician-to-patient ratio (an initiative which I'm sure Shulkin would be capable of leading), the department would save $1.6 billion a year.

Those savings could be applied to increase VA physician salaries to Kaiser levels -- currently, the VA pays 21% less to primary care physicians and 55% less to surgeons on average -- which, in turn, would help combat the VA's physician turnover issue, which is 4x higher than at Kaiser. And the VA would still save $427 million a year after these raises. (If this research interests you, there's an 11-page report to download comparing the VA and Kaiser in detail.) Imagine the technology investments Shulkin could make with these millions in savings. He could restore the department's leadership in health technology and deliver the quality care our nation's veterans deserve. Hopefully, he'll stick around to see the dream of an efficient, high-tech VA come to fruition.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/...ly-begins.html
Reply With Quote
  #49 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-2017, 12:04 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Okolona
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,220
Thanks: 1,645
Thanked 612 Times in 524 Posts
Unhappy Re: VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog

Vietnam Vet dies in Michigan VA hospital foulup...

Michigan Man Who Died Because of VA Error Was Vietnam Vet
10 Nov 2017 — A man who died because of a stunning error at a Veterans Affairs hospital was a 66-year-old Vietnam War veteran.
Quote:
A man who died because of a stunning error at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Michigan was a 66-year-old Vietnam War veteran who liked to throw darts and shoot pool. Roy Griffith confirmed to The Associated Press that his son, William Griffith, was the man who died last December when a nurse at a VA hospital in Ann Arbor mistakenly believed he had a no-resuscitation order. Griffith's death was investigated by the inspector general at the Department of Veterans Affairs. A report released Tuesday called the case "disturbing," although the patient's name wasn't disclosed.

Griffith was suffering from chest pain and stopped breathing while recovering from artery bypass surgery. No one at the hospital attempted to resuscitate him, and he died the day after Christmas. The elder Griffith declined further comment Thursday. William Griffith's wife, Roberta Griffith, also declined to comment. "We miss him horribly," Griffith's sister, Sara Schuyler, told AP.


The cover of the crypt that holds the cremated remains of Vietnam War veteran William Griffith is seen at Great Lakes National Cemetery, Nov. 9, 2017, in Holly, Mich.

Griffith served two years in the Army during the Vietnam War, returning home with injuries in 1971, according to his obituary. He enjoyed darts and billiards. His cremated remains were interred at Great Lakes National Cemetery, a cemetery for veterans in Holly, Michigan, not far from his Oakland County home. "Bill was a likable man who would do anything if you needed him to. He loved his family and will be missed by all who knew him," the obituary said.

Separately, Reps. Debbie Dingell and Tim Walberg said Thursday they've asked the VA for assurances that a "similar tragedy never happens again." A spokesman for the hospital, Brian Hayes, said changes have been made, including a requirement that two people confirm the status of a patient's resuscitation order. The nurse who made the fatal mistake told investigators that he apparently was confused over Griffith's status that day. Hayes said the nurse could be fired.

Michigan Man Who Died Because of VA Error Was Vietnam Vet | Military.com
Reply With Quote
  #50 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2017, 06:54 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Okolona
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,220
Thanks: 1,645
Thanked 612 Times in 524 Posts
Angry Re: VA employees actually destroy veterans’ records to ease backlog

Colorado VA Kept Secret Wait Lists for Mental Health Care...

Colorado VA Kept Secret Wait Lists for Mental Health Care: Report
20 Nov 2017 - A new government watchdog found that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Denver kept improper wait lists.
Quote:
A new government watchdog group found that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Denver violated policy by keeping improper wait lists to track mental health care that veterans received. Investigators with the VA Office of Inspector General confirmed whistleblower and former VA employee Brian Smother's claim that staff kept unauthorized lists instead of using the department's official wait list system. That made it impossible to know if veterans who needed referrals for group therapy and other mental health care were getting timely assistance, according to the report. The internal investigation also criticized record-keeping in PTSD cases at the VA's facility in Colorado Springs.

Patients there often went longer than the department's stated goals of getting an initial consult within a week and treatment within 30 days, investigators found. In one case, a veteran killed himself 13 days after contacting the clinic, which was supposed to see him within a week. Investigators said the unofficial lists did not always identify the veteran or requested date of care, and they could not determine how many veterans were waiting to receive help and for how long, even with the help of staff at the facilities. "My worst fears have been realized in this Inspector General's report that Chairman Johnson and I demanded," Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardener said in a statement. "It highlights even more VA mismanagement and lack of accountability in Colorado. This cannot happen again, and it's time for the VA to finally wake up and ensure our men and women are getting the best care possible. I will continue to work with Chairman Johnson to ensure the accountability that somehow the VA refuses to accept."


A June 21, 2013 file photo of the Veterans Affairs Department in Washington.

Smothers, who worked at the VA in Denver as a peer support specialist on the post-traumatic stress disorder clinical support team, informed Gardner and his fellow senator, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, last about the VA facilities in Denver and nearby Golden using wait lists for mental health services from 2012 until last September. Gardner resigned from his post at the VA shortly after going public, citing retaliation from VA officials in Colorado. "Putting veterans on secret wait lists is not acceptable," Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said in a statement. "The VA should implement changes to provide the highest quality care for our veterans and hold wrongdoers accountable. I thank Brian Smothers, the whistleblower who bravely came forward to shed a light on these unacceptable practices at the VA so they can be prevented in the future."

Speaking to the Associated Press, Smothers said he was disappointed the report didn't make clearer that VA staff knew full well what they were doing. "We renamed the files 'interest lists' so people wouldn't know we were breaking the rules" on how to maintain wait lists, Smothers said. The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care systemaid in a statement that while it agreed with much of the report's findings it bristled at the idea that its wait lists were "secret." The statement says that "nothing about this process was secret" and that it was discontinued once staff became aware it violated VA policies. The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care system said in a statement that while it agreed with much of the report's findings it bristled at the idea that its wait lists were "secret." The statement says that "nothing about this process was secret" and that it was discontinued once staff became aware it violated VA policies.

Colorado VA Kept Secret Wait Lists for Mental Health Care: Report | Military.com
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
actually, backlog, destroy, ease, employees, records, veterans’

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Forum Jump

LinkBacks (?)
LinkBack to this Thread: http://www.politicalwrinkles.com/history-geography-military/37573-va-employees-actually-destroy-veterans-records-ease-backlog.html
Posted By For Type Date
Veterans claims | BoardReader This thread Refback 03-02-2014 06:06 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0