The Veterans Affairs Department says nearly 97 percent of veterans received an appointment at a VA medical center within 30 days. But the Government Accountability Office says otherwise. GAO’s own study suggests average wait times range from 22 to 71 days for an appointment.
With roughly nine months until Inauguration Day, VA leadership is trying to implement a major transformation to the way it delivers health care and interacts with veterans and its own employees. But the department needs a plan and a new governance structure in place to ensure that whatever progress is made now endures beyond Jan. 20, 2017.
Dr. David Shulkin, the undersecretary for health at VA, says the agency needs better integration with private sector medical providers in order to “re-engineer” the way veterans access treatment.
Active-duty service members and veterans with disabilities tried out adaptive winter sports during the 2016 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic. This is the annual event’s 30th year.
Negotiations between the House and Senate VA committees over a new veterans omnibus have stalled, as the Veterans Affairs Department releases more details in its plan to change accountability procedures for its senior executives.
Veterans gathered at VA facilities around the country, as well as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
There isn’t much more the Veterans Affairs Department can do, now that the Merit Systems Protection Board overturned punishments for two of four senior executives accused of misconduct. The VA handed out lighter punishments to the four VBA leaders, despite criticism from Congress.
Congress is beginning to get a clearer picture of the Veterans Affairs Department’s new Choice Program, which lets veterans access private sector community care providers if they choose. But members on the House VA Committee question the department’s continued involvement in scheduling appointments for veterans.
The House Veterans Affairs Committee is considering legislation to give the VA secretary the authority to set pay and performance appraisals for medical directors. It also includes several provisions that are designed to help the VA attract and hire more doctors and nurses.
A group of Republican senators criticized the Merit Systems Protection Board for overturning disciplinary actions taken against corrupt Veterans Affairs Department bureaucrats. The board and its array of administrative judges almost always uphold agency actions. Attorney Debra D’Agostino, partner at the Federal Practice Group, helps Federal Drive with Tom Temin sort things out.
The Senate is considering a series of new bills that would alter the Veterans Affairs Department’s current Choice program, which lets veterans find a private care provider rather than a VA doctor. VA leaders and Congress both say the department’s current program is not working.
More than half of current and former senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department oppose the VA’s proposal to reclassify some SES members under Title 38, according to the preliminary results of a recent survey from the Senior Executives Association.
The MSPB in 2015 upheld agency decisions or actions on initial appeal nearly every time. But not for the Veterans Affairs Department. So what are the senators asking?
Thanks to the flawed Choice Act Congress hastily passed in 2014, SESers exist in a sort of twilight of civil service protection.