Debra Draper

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)FILE - In this June 21, 2013, file photo, the seal affixed to the front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington. A new first-of-its kind government study finds suicide among military veterans is especially high in the western U.S. and rural areas. The numbers suggest that social isolation, gun ownership and limited health care access may be factors behind the higher numbers. The Department of Veterans Affairs released data Sept. 15, on suicide by state. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

VA needs to staff up suicide prevention teams for greater effectiveness, GAO says

The Government Accountability Office has come out with recommendations on how Veterans Affairs can better staff-up and use its suicide prevention teams.

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Debra Draper: GAO finds discrepancies in VHA appointment requests

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Debra Draper, Director of Health Care Issues, GAO

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Debra Draper, Director of Health Care Issues, GAO

The Defense Department’s showing negative side effects from a rough transition to a new healthcare contractor in the western United States. Those side…

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More problems with VA scheduling systems revealed

The electronic wait system for keeping track of and monitoring initial primary-care appointments for new patients at Veterans Affairs medical facilities…

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Debra Draper, Government Accountability Office

The Veterans Affairs department’s inspector general says it will take until August before it finishes investigating allegations of manipulated waiting lists in the Phoenix VA medical system and elsewhere around the country. But even if the investigation doesn’t uncover intentional falsification, there is one thing we do know, based on the work of the Government Accountability Office: VA’s data on medical appointment wait times is, at the very least, unreliable. And has been for years. Debra Draper,…

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