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ND Veterans Affairs News: Federal

JUNE 3, 2014
Not all Veterans are getting the timely access to the healthcare that they have earned. Systemic problems in scheduling processes have been exacerbated by leadership failures and ethical lapses. I will use all available authority to swiftly and decisively address issues of willful misconduct or mismanagement.

VA’s first priority is to get all Veterans off waiting lists and into clinics while we address the underlying issues that have been impeding Veterans’ access to healthcare. The President has made clear that this is his expectation.

May 30, 2014 | by Bryant Jordan, Military.com

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Friday said he is firing the top administrators of the VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona -- ground zero for what Shinseki called a systemwide problem of officials manipulating patient appointment schedules.

Shinseki also said he will ask the Senate to vote on legislation granting him greater authority to fire managers across the VA responsible for what he called a breakdown in trust and integrity.

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
May. 27, 2014 - 07:33PM

A new Veterans Affairs Department effort to shorten wait times for veterans needing health care could include extended hours and overtime at VA health facilities in addition to increased staffing at some VA primary care clinics.

In cases where VA cannot meet demand for timely appointments in-house, the initiative would expand access to care in private health facilities paid for by VA.

Fellow Veterans and Family Members,

After 38 years in The Army, I am now honored and privileged to serve as your Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA).  VA remains committed to providing the high quality benefits you have earned and deserve.

By Patricia Kime 
Military Times Staff writer
May. 14, 2014 - 06:08PM

The Veterans Affairs Department may not be overprescribing potentially addictive opioid painkillers, but a new report says VA is failing to screen adequately for potential abuse or protect some patients who are given such drugs.

Among those at risk, according to the VA Inspector General, are patients with known substance abuse problems and those taking other medications that can have fatal consequences when mixed with opiates.

By Patricia Kime 
Military Times Staff writer
May. 14, 2014 - 10:20AM

Marine Cpl. Jacob Schick was an early casualty of the Iraq War, his body blown apart by an anti-tank mine in Anbar province in 2004.

The force of the explosion threw Schick through the soft top of his unarmored Humvee, blew off his right leg, shredded his left and ripped off portions of his arm and fingers.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced an enforcement action against Sallie Mae (also known as Sallie Mae Bank and Navient Solutions), the largest servicer of federal and private student loans, which was found to be systematically violating the legal rights of U.S. servicemembers. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) also reached a settlement with the companies that addresses allegations of student loan servicing misconduct. Sallie Mae is ordered to pay $96.6 million in restitution and penalties.

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
May. 12, 2014 - 03:38PM

As Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki prepares to testify Thursday before a Senate committee, he will have to explain why problems with the VA appointment system — which include doctoring records to show only acceptable wait times for patients — have endured for a decade.

Emergency room visits can take twice as long

By Kellan Howell
The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

By the government's own estimate just last month, the average American waits about 26 minutes in a hospital emergency room before being treated. But on average, war veterans must wait twice that long for the same care at Veterans Affairs hospital centers, and a string of internal investigations suggests the ER wait times for retired troops frequently can last hours.

By Leo Shane III
Staff writer, Military Times
May. 7, 2014 - 08:57PM

One in four recently separated U.S. veterans may not be able to consistently put food on their tables, according to a new report released Wednesday.

The Public Health Nutrition journal study, titled “Food Insecurity & Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans,” surveyed more than 900 young veterans and found 27 percent reported problems with getting enough food for three meals a day. That’s about twice as high as the overall national rate.

May 1, 2014
By  C. Todd Lopez 

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 1, 2014) -- The Army's "Soldier for Life" website, launched today, is designed to be a new online home for retired Soldiers.

The Army's web portal "Army Knowledge Online" -- better known as "AKO" -- has been available to retirees and family members for many years now. However, the Army is transitioning to a more secure enterprise network for business users -- Soldiers, Army civilians and contractors.

By George Altman
Military Times Staff writer
May. 4, 2014 - 06:00AM

The military teaches service members leadership skills and responsibility that many civilians can’t match. Yet the unemployment rate for the latest generation of veterans has long been higher than that of civilians.

Some vets have found a quick way around the problem: going into business for themselves.

By Amy Jeter
The Virginian-Pilot

May 2, 2014

Starting this spring, more than 400,000 military retirees and senior dependents in the Tricare for Life program will owe the full amount for certain prescription refills if they use a retail pharmacy rather than a military pharmacy or a mail service.

Veterans are using Whisper to share the most intimate details of their struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder.

posted on April 24, 2014 at 4:02pm EDT
Neetzan Zimmerman
BuzzFeed Contributor

By Justin Sink
April 23, 2014, 01:25 pm

First lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday announced a new website designed to help military veterans, current service members and their spouses create resumes and connect with outside employers.

The website, called the Veterans Employment Center, hopes to centralize job and veterans resources from across the government. It will include a database of public and private employment opportunities, a resume-builder, and career and training resources.

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