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EXTERNAL LINKS POLICY

PLEASE REVIEW THE USFRA EXTERNAL LINKS POLICY BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR LINKS.

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Please join FSC, USFRA and our partners in a lifesaving project that benefits first responders and veterans. FSC is printing 20,000+ custom USFRA disaster preparedness and first aid books for the Dallas-Fort Worth area -- Learn more

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Karen Loveless is a retired Firefighter/EMT -- now a professional songwriter. She wrote this song for all public servants...Thank You For The Job You Do!" click below to listen and learn more

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IBM’s GRIT mobile app helps Veterans and their families transition from active duty to civilian life

Started by Janet Liebsch in Veterans Sep 12. 0 Replies

by Brett Robbins - VA Blog10-Sep-2019 - Getting Results in Transition, or better known as…Continue

Tags: android, iphone, test, veterans, National Guard

Deputy slain after responding to disabled motorist call

Started by Officer Derek Tomlinson in Open Discussions Sep 3. 0 Replies

Deputy Sheriff Justin Richard…Continue

Tags: JUSTIN RICHARD DEROSIER

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VA audit: Over 100,000 veterans either waited over 90 days for appointment or never got on waiting list

9-Jun-2014: According to the Washington Post, a nationwide audit by the Department of Veteran Affairs found that 57,000 veterans have been waiting more than 90 days for an appointment and that an additional 64,000 requested medical care but never made it onto VA waiting lists.

And VA’s own audit found that 13 percent of VA schedulers were told to falsify appointment request dates to make patient wait times appear shorter and that at least one instance of that fraud was found at 76 percent of VA facilities.

“This data shows the extent of the system problems we face,” acting VA secretary Sloan Gibson [and former USO President] said, “problems that demand immediate actions.”

Gibson — who took over on May 30 after his predecessor, Eric K. Shinseki, resigned under pressure — outlined a series of emergency measures Monday to ensure that veterans stuck on long waiting lists will receive care as quickly as possible in the coming days and weeks.

"Today," he continued, "we're providing the details to offer transparency into the scale of our challenges, and of our system itself. I'll repeat: this data shows the extent of the systemic problems we face, problems that demand immediate actions."

As of today, Gibson said, VA has contacted 50,000 veterans across the country to get them off of wait lists and into clinics.

Gibson also announced a series of additional actions in response to today's audit findings and data, including:

  • Establishing a new patient satisfaction measurement program. He has directed the Veterans Health Administration to immediately begin developing a new patient satisfaction measurement program to provide real-time, robust, location-by-location information on patient satisfaction, to include satisfaction data of those Veterans attempting to access VA healthcare for the first time. This program will be developed with input from veterans service organizations, outside health care organizations, and other entities, officials said, to ensure VA collects an additional set of data directly from the veteran's perspective to understand how VA is doing throughout the system. 
  • Holding senior leaders accountable. Where audited sites identify concerns within the parent facility or its affiliated clinics, VA will trigger administrative procedures to ascertain the appropriate follow-on personnel actions for specific individuals. 
  • Ordering an immediate Veterans Health Administration Central Office and Veterans Integrated Service Networks Office hiring freeze. Gibson has ordered the hiring freeze at the VHA central office here and at VHA's 21 regional VISN offices, except for critical positions to be approved by the secretary on a case-by-case basis. This will begin to remove bureaucratic obstacles and establish responsive, forward-leaning leadership, VA officials said. 
  • Removing the 14-day scheduling goal from employee performance contracts. This action will eliminate incentives to engage in inappropriate scheduling practices or behaviors, officials said. 
  • Increasing transparency by posting data twice monthly. VHA will post regular updates to the access data released today at the middle and end of each month at http://VA.gov. Twice-monthly data updates will enhance transparency and provide the most immediate information to veterans and the public on veterans' access to quality health care, officials said. 
  • Initiating an independent, external audit of scheduling practices throughout the VHA system. 
  • Sending an additional frontline team to Phoenix. Following his trip to the Phoenix VA Medical Center last week, Gibson directed a VHA frontline team to travel there immediately to address scheduling, access, and resource requirements needed to provide veterans with timely, quality health care. 
  • Using high-performing facilities to help those that need improvement. VA will formalize a process in which high-performing facilities provide direct assistance and share best practices with facilities that require improvement on medical center quality and efficiency performance measures. 
  • Applying immediate access reforms announced in Phoenix to most challenged VA facilities. Last week, Gibson announced measures to address health care access problems in Phoenix. Today, he announced he'll apply the same reforms to facilities with the most access problems from the results of the audit. 

VA also is deploying teams of dedicated human resource employees to accelerate the hiring of additional staff and is using temporary staffing measures, along with clinical and administrative support, to ensure veterans receive care. The department also will send mobile medical units to facilities to immediately provide services to patients and veterans awaiting care.

In addition, VA will modify local contract operations to be able to offer more community-based care to veterans waiting to be seen by a doctor.

Noting that Gibson is committed to using all authority at VA's disposal to enforce accountability among senior leaders, officials said, VA will initiate the process of removing senior leaders where appropriate.

The department also has suspended all VHA senior executive performance awards for fiscal year 2014.

Over the course of the next several weeks, officials said, Gibson will travel to a series of VA facilities across the country to hear directly from veterans and employees about obstacles to providing timely, quality care and how VA can address them immediately.

WaPo also writes... "The near-term measures, however, are not likely to fix deeper problems that plague a VA health-care system that has struggled to accommodate more than 2 million new patients over the past five years. Some of the new veterans using VA medical centers fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and appear to be using VA services at rates that are significantly higher than in previous wars. VA also has struggled to handle an aging population of Vietnam veterans who have flooded the system with severe health problems, some of them linked to Agent Orange."

Sources: Washington Post and Defense.gov

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