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ND Veterans Affairs News

Yesterday, President Obama signed an Executive Order that will automatically apply a 6% interest rate cap to eligible federal student loan borrowers under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act without the need for additional paperwork.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2014                              

WASHINGTON –Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson met with the leadership of 27 Military and Veterans Service Organizations (MSOs and VSOs) following the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) release of results from its Nationwide Access Audit, and other facility level access data.

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 5, 2014 - 12:22PM

While the Veterans Affairs Department encourages former troops with Gulf War illness symptoms to file claims for health care and benefits, only one in five applications are approved, according to data obtained by Military Times.

By Leo Shane III 
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 5, 2014 - 05:32PM

Congress appears poised to adopt new legislation making it easier for veterans to get private medical care and harder for underperforming administrators to keep their jobs, under a deal announced by Senate leaders Thursday.

By ANDY MEDICI
Federal Times
Jun. 2, 2014 - 12:24PM

The Veterans Affairs Department secretary would be able to fire senior executives and the agency would receive new hiring authorities and emergency funding under legislation announced June 1.

By Leo Shane III 
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 3, 2014 - 04:01PM

Lawmakers from both parties want major changes in how the Veterans Affairs Department operates — and that will make it difficult to enact any changes at all.

Senate Democrats and Republicans this week are offering competing plans for VA reform, including making it easier to fire top department officials and cutting wait times for veterans in need of health care.

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.

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