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ND Veterans Affairs News: Federal

Dennis Wagner, The Republic | azcentral.com 
3:22 p.m. MST September 10, 2014

A Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general's report on delayed health care at the Phoenix VA medical center used a standard to evaluate patient deaths that would be virtually impossible to meet, according to medical experts.

By Leo Shane III and Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writers
Sep. 10, 2014 - 10:25AM

As a peer mentor for Wounded Warrior Project, Josh Renschler regularly helps severely injured veterans navigate the Veterans Affairs Department health care system.

So he’s no longer surprised by stories about delays and headaches in accessing medical care.

“We just keep seeing the same problems over and over again,” Renschler said. “It’s always a battle to get seen.”

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Sep. 10, 2014 - 04:00PM

A senior attorney at the Board of Veterans Appeals told lawmakers Wednesday that managers at the agency covered up delays in appeals processing and doctored records to protect their performance bonuses.

Lawmakers said they were dismayed not just at the allegations but how closely they echo earlier VA scandals of case manipulation and whistleblower retaliation that have been the source of months of oversight and criticism.

Joint VA/White House Roundtable Brings Together Key Leaders to Explore Ways to Better Prepare Veterans for the Civilian Workforce
 
Washington, DC – Each year, more than 250,000 Servicemembers take off their uniform for the last time. And for those transitioning Veterans, among the first questions they ask is: What’s next? 

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced supplemental guidance to military records boards to ensure consistency in considering veterans’ discharge upgrade requests related to post-traumatic stress disorder, Defense Department spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren told Pentagon reporters today.

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Aug. 19, 2014 - 03:04PM

Federal regulators on Tuesday outlined interim rules for streamlined firing of Veterans Affairs Department senior executives, a new authority backed by Congress in an effort to clean up cultural problems at the embattled department.

Company Ordered to Refund $350,000 to Servicemembers Tricked into Paying Fees for Benefits Available for Free
 

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
Aug. 13, 2014 - 05:51PM

Veterans waiting for a primary care appointment at a VA medical facility may now be able to get one at a private physician under a program that allows veterans to seek medical treatment outside the Veterans Affairs Department.

VA announced Wednesday that primary care has been added to its Patient-Centered Community Care, or PC3, program.

By Carolyn Freundlich
Medill News Service
Aug. 12, 2014 - 01:42PM

It was in 1990 that 22-year-old Melissa Davis went to the Veterans Affairs Department office in Houston to seek treatment for depression.

Davis, a former Army specialist, joined the military at age 17. She says she was raped more than once by a superior officer at her first base. She didn’t report the assaults but told her husband, who urged her to keep quiet to avoid retaliation.

VA launches new identity theft website and toll-free help line

August 5, 2014

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it has launched a new campaign to educate Veterans about identity theft prevention. The new campaign, titled More Than a Number, references the personally identifiable information that VA encourages Veterans to protect.

Move America Forward has collected millions to send care packages to U.S. troops. But its appeals often rely on images and stories borrowed without permission, and its assets have been used to benefit political consulting firms and PACs.

by Kim Barker
ProPublica, Aug. 5, 2014, 5:45 a.m.

By Tom Philpott
Special to Stars and Stripes
Published: July 31, 2014 

Note: In addition to the $15 billion, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday a measure in the bill calling for leases on 27 new medical centers in 15 states and Puerto Rico would cost about $1.27 billion.

Veterans reading only headlines, hearing only sound bites, might have a few misconceptions about how Congress and the VA plan to use non-VA healthcare providers to ensure more timely and convenient access to care.

By Leo Shane III
Staff writer
Jul. 31, 2014 - 09:08 PM

The Senate overwhelmingly gave final approval to a $16.3 billion Veterans Affairs reform bill on Thursday night, sending the measure to the White House and giving Congress a legislative victory before the start of its summer break.

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
Jul. 30, 2014 - 02:19 PM

Two advocacy groups are suing the Veterans Affairs Department for what they say are the department’s discriminatory practices regarding compensation claims related to service-connected sexual assault.

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Jul. 29, 2014 - 05:08 PM

It’s been a quick courtship for Bob McDonald — and there will be no honeymoon.

In less than a month, the 61-year-old McDonald has gone from relative obscurity within the veterans community to the man charged with saving the Veterans Affairs Department. The Senate voted 97-0 on Tuesday to confirm him as the new VA secretary, with marching orders to start that work right away.

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