VA Claims: Disabled Veterans Community|Hadit.com

Philpott: VA, Rep. Roe tie caregiver benefit expansion to tightened eligibility

Sec. Shulkin supports extending caregiver benefits under the following conditions:

  • The current 26,000 caregivers should be protected from the following changes.
  • Current caregiver fall under Tier 1 which provides the benefit if your injuries prevent you from performing 1 activity of daily living.
  • Proposed caregiver changes would fall under Tier 3 which requires if you injuries prevent you from performing 3 activities of daily living.

Providing the benefit program as Sec. Shulkin lays out would make an additional 40,000 veterans eligible. If the benefits were extended to Post 9/11 without the changes 188,000 veterans would be eligible.

“…if starting with Tier 3 is what we have to do to start, we absolutely support that. It just won’t be the end of the conversation”. Sarah Dean of PVA
“… wants to explore a timeline on how we move beyond Tier 3 and make sure that all pre-9/11 caregivers who need and deserve support with this benefit receive it (but) yeah, I think we’re open to that …”. Steven Schwab of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation
DAV also didn’t reject Shulkin’s plan, noting that critically important benefits for veterans often start by Congress “making incremental improvements.” But lawmakers shouldn’t delay more actions to ensure every veteran “is equitably treated,”. Adrian Atizado Disabled American Veterans
We should be working to expand support for veterans’ caregivers, not restricting it even further,” Murray said.  “I absolutely oppose this … and I will fight against it any way I can in the Senate.” Senator Murray rejects Shulkin’s compromise.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter how many activities of daily living a veteran isn’t able to perform.  What matters is if they need the assistance of a caregiver.  And there are some cases where being unable to perform one ADL — eating or going to the bathroom or another activity — requires the assistance of a caregiver,” he said. “Doctors certainly should receive more guidance as to how to make those determinations,” Fuentes said.  “But we think that savings [through cost avoidance] can be achieved by extending eligibility criteria as is.” Carlos Fuentes Veterans of Foreign War
Veteran representatives spent much of their time before the House committee knocking down claims by Republicans that the current caregiver program is widely abused or offers benefits duplicative of other VA programs.
Read the full article at the link below:

VA CHOICE Program News from 2017

[no_toc]Story image for veterans affairs CHOICE from PBS NewsHour

House rejects proposed funding fix for VA Choice program

PBS NewsHourJul 25, 2017
WASHINGTON — The House has rejected a plan to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to shift $2 billion from other programs to cover a sudden budget shortfall in its Choice program of private-sector care following opposition from veterans’ groups. The vote was 219-186 Monday on a bill to provide a six-month funding …

As the Choice program runs out of money this year, VA reiterates …

FederalNewsRadio.comJun 14, 2017
The Veterans Affairs Department is quickly running out of money in its Choiceprogram account, one of several funding streams VA uses to pay for veterans to receive community health care. This development with the Choice program is only the latest of a series of pain points for the department and Congress. Yet VA …

Congress Reaches Deal to Avert Shutdown of Veterans‘ Health …

New York TimesJul 27, 2017
Congress created the Choice program in response to a 2014 scandal over the manipulation of patient wait times at Veterans Affairs Department facilities. It was intended to temporarily relieve pressure on those facilities as the department retooled. Now, most lawmakers agree that though the program needs significant repair …

Shulkin offers first glimpse at new VA Choice plan

FederalNewsRadio.comJun 8, 2017
One day after the Senate passed long-awaited legislation that authorizes new accountability procedures at the Veterans Affairs Department, Congress is turning its focus to the next big debate at VA: the Veterans Choice Program. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee began Wednesday the first of many discussions on the …

Trump signs bill allowing veterans to seek care outside broken VA

Washington ExaminerApr 19, 2017
President Trump signed legislation Wednesday that will dramatically expand a program at the Department of Veterans Affairs that lets patients seek care from private doctors if they want to bypass the troubled VA system. The Veterans Choice Improvement Act removes barriers that Congress placed around the original …

Trump signs $3.9 billion VA funding bill to avert crisis for Choice

Stars and StripesAug 12, 2017
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a $3.9 billion funding deal for the Department of Veterans Affairs that will shore up the nearly bankrupt Veterans Choice Program and allow the VA to open 28 new clinics and implement new hiring programs. Trump signed the bill in Bedminster, New Jersey, …

House lawmakers: VA Choice reform bill can wait until 2018

ModernHealthcare.comDec 6, 2017
Roe and his committee passed one version of the Choice overhaul, with a price tag estimated at about $39 billion over five years by the Congressional Budget Office; the Senate Committee on VeteransAffairs passed another, which would cost about $54 billion over five years per CBO. The two bills, which a Senate …

Department of Veterans Affairs says money for private health care …

PBS NewsHourSep 26, 2017
WASHINGTON — Weeks after a veterans‘ health initiative received $2.1 billion in emergency funding, the Trump administration says the private-sector VeteransChoice health care program may need additional money as early as December to avoid a disruption of care for hundreds of thousands of veterans.

Veterans Affairs facing $1 billion shortfall because of unexpected …

AZCentral.comJun 21, 2017
At the hearing, lawmakers pressed Shulkin about the department’s financial management after it significantly underestimated costs for its Choice program, which offers veterans federally paid medical care outside the VA. Several questioned Shulkin’s claim that the VA can fill the budget gap simply by shifting funds — without …

The Overwhelmed VA Choice Program Is Running Out Of Money …

Task & PurposeSep 28, 2017
All last summer, lawmakers on Capitol Hill scrambled to find more than $2 billion in emergency funding to keep the Department of Veterans Affairs‘ top private-provider referral program from going bankrupt. After a few misfires and rounds of recriminations, that funding came through last month. But the Veterans Choice …

Funding for a new veterans choice program remains the big …

FederalNewsRadio.comOct 24, 2017
Debate over the future of the Veterans Choice Program began in earnest Tuesday, as the Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and House VA Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) presented their respective proposals to make community care programs permanent. Shulkin’s proposal, called the Veterans …

Bad Paper Discharge? Mental Health Options Limited

When you get an other than honorable discharge or a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge, you lose virtually all of your access to Veterans Affairs benefits.

From the article

When service members separate from the military, their futures depend on something called a characterization of service. There are five different possibilities: honorable, general under honorable conditions, other than honorable, bad conduct, and dishonorable.

Other than honorable” means the service member has had a pattern of misconduct or has been convicted by a civilian court of a crime.

Meanwhile, “bad conduct” and “dishonorable” result when a service member commits a felony-level offense. Those two categories, the lowest on the military scale, are also known as “punitive discharges.”

Military discharges are a reward system. Serving without bad behavior or crime earns service members support from the VA. But if they cause trouble, they’re mostly on their own.

In July, the Veterans Affairs revised its policies and began offering 90 days of emergency mental health care to veterans with other than honorable discharges – people who it says are at greater risk of suicide and homelessness.” Continue Reading …


Bay Pines VA another incompetence concern – 3 veterans die after thoracic surgery.


So many stories of VA not doing right by their veterans. Here’s another this time, Bay Pines VA. When a hospital has to pause surgeries there is clearly something that went wrong. The OIG investigated a complaint that a thoracic surgeon was incompetent and while the OIG did not substantiate that the surgeon was incompetent though 3 veterans died within weeks while in post op care after thoracic surgery.
I gathered up some stories for you over time of VA’s spotty record. Read on.

Published: BAY PINES, Fla. (WFLA) – Concerns about quality of care have shut down the thoracic surgery unit at the VA hospital at Bay Pines. VA spokesperson Jason Dangel confirms the decision to “temporarily pause thoracic surgeries.” The Joint Commission, a group that accredits hospitals, received a complaint about the thoracic unit and notified Bay Pines.

Read the article on wfla.com >

VA investigators plan to visit the state to look into management, personnel issues and medical practices at the Roseburg and Eugene veterans
clinics, a spokeswoman for an Oregon congressman said.
The investigation follows a report by The Register-Guard less than two weeks ago on claims by Dr. Scott Russi and several nurses that poor leadership at the Roseburg location and retaliation against whistleblowers were driving doctors to move to the Eugene clinic, compromising patient care.
VA vows changes on bad health care providers, lawmakers take action after USA TODAY investigation | Veterans Affairs and Veterans News from HadIt.com | Scoop.it

VA vows changes on bad health care providers, lawmakers take action after USA TODAY investigation

“Under Secretary Shulkin, VA’s new direction is to hold employees accountable and to be transparent with our findings and actions,” Cashour said.”… Followed by more blah, blah, blah


VA watchdog: Tomah staff failed to report rogue dentist | Veterans Affairs and Veterans News from HadIt.com | Scoop.it

VA watchdog: Tomah staff failed to report rogue dentist

The watchdog agency for the federal Department of Veterans Affairs says staff at the Tomah VA Medical Center failed to report a dentist who used improperly sterilized equipment for more than nine months and found surprise inspections could have alerted hospital leaders sooner.
The findings are contained in a report released Thursday by Office of Inspector General on its investigation into the lapse in hygiene, which could have exposed hundreds of veterans to bloodborne infections, including HIV and hepatitis.
Theresa “Tbird” Aldrich’s insight:

“What the heck is wrong with people? What kind of doctor doesn’t sterilize his equipment? What happened to do no harm? I was one of 1800 veterans in St Louis when this happened here. It was horrible the waiting for the test results to make sure I was clean.”


Inspector general says Roseburg VA used outdated colonoscopy methods | Veterans Affairs and Veterans News from HadIt.com | Scoop.it

Inspector general says Roseburg VA used outdated colonoscopy methods

The inspector general reported conclusions based on an investigation requested by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield. DeFazio said he heard from a constituent in 2014 that patients experienced long waits for colonoscopies and problems with the quality of those colonoscopies at the Roseburg VA.

Veteran patients in imminent danger at VA hospital in D.C., investigation finds

The facility has repeatedly run out of surgical equipment, used expired tools and dirty sterile storage areas. Conditions are so dangerous at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C., that the agency’s chief watchdog issued a rare preliminary report Wednesday to alert patients and other members of the public.


Probe Of Veterans Affairs Hospital Shows Patients Were Put At Risk | Veterans Affairs and Veterans News from HadIt.com | Scoop.it

Probe Of Veterans Affairs Hospital Shows Patients Were Put At Risk

Steve Inskeep talks to VA Inspector General Michael Missal about an investigation into the D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center. It found serious issues regarding the handling of medical equipment.


Photos Showing 'Shameful' Scenes At VA Hospital Prompt Investigation | Veterans Affairs and Veterans News from HadIt.com | Scoop.it

Photos Showing ‘Shameful’ Scenes At VA Hospital Prompt Investigation

“The man laid down on the floor, and they went in there and picked him up and set him back in the chair,” one veteran recalled.


Report: Florida VA hospital left deceased veteran in shower room for 9 hours | Veterans Affairs and Veterans News from HadIt.com | Scoop.it

Report: Florida VA hospital left deceased veteran in shower room for 9 hours

The investigation found that once the veteran died, hospice staff members requested a staffer known as a “transporter” to get the body moved to the morgue.
The transporter told them to follow proper procedures and notify dispatchers, but that request was never made, so nobody showed up to take the body away.


Cincinnati VA investigation is focus of public radio program Reveal | Veterans Affairs and Veterans News from HadIt.com | Scoop.itCincinnati VA investigation is focus of public radio program Reveal

Questions about the quality of care for veterans at the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center — as well as problems facing Veterans Affairs hospitals around the country — will be the focus of this.



Veterans Affairs conducts internal investigation into OKC VA Medical Center | Veterans Affairs and Veterans News from HadIt.com | Scoop.itVeterans Affairs conducts internal investigation into OKC VA Medical Center

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is conducting an internal investigation into the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center, officials said.


VA Announces Veterans Coordinated Access & Rewarding Experiences (‘CARE’) Act

Replaces Current ‘30-day/40-mile’ System With Patient/Provider-centric Decision-making 

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has presented the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees with the administration’s draft proposal of the Veterans Coordinated Access & Rewarding Experiences (CARE) Act, designed to improve Veterans’ experiences with and access to health care, building on the best features of VA’s existing community care programs and strengthening VA’s ability to furnish care in its facilities.
In order to meet Veterans’ needs quickly and in a way that is easy to understand, the bill aims to:

  • Clarify and simplify eligibility requirements,
  • Set the framework for VA to continue to build a high-performing network,
  • Streamline clinical and administrative processes,
  • Implement new care coordination support for Veterans, and
  • Merge and modernize community care programs.

“We want Veterans to work with their VA physicians to make informed decisions that are best for their clinical needs, whether in the VA or in the community, and this bill does just that, while strengthening VA services at the same time,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin.
The bill would replace the current wait-time and distance eligibility criteria under the Choice Program (“30-day/40-mile”) with criteria that:

  • Place the Veteran and his or her physician at the center of the decision process on how and where to get the best care available,
  • Ensure VA is improving medical facilities and staffing levels to meet Veterans’ needs in areas where VA care is substandard, and
  • Offer options for Veterans to use a network of walk-in clinics for minor illnesses and injuries.

The CARE Act also includes:

  • Proposals for new workforce tools to assist in maintaining and strengthening VA’s world-class medical staff,
  • A number of business process enhancements to improve financial management of the Community Care program,
  • Provisions that would strengthen VA’s ability to partner with other federal agencies and streamline VA’s real property management authorities.

More information about access to care at the VA can be found at https://www.accesstocare.va.gov/.

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