Five years after the 2014 scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs’s medical center in Phoenix, Arizona, and patient wait times at the agency are still difficult to measure and track.
The Government Accountability Office found that the Veterans Affairs Department doesn’t have a very effective process for aligning facilities and capital investments. Debra Draper, director of health care issues at the GAO, shares the details on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The Government Accountability Office is questioning whether the right people, skills and leadership were devoted to the Veterans Affairs Department’s past efforts to remove VA healthcare from the High-Risk List. But current VA leadership insisted it’s paying attention and asked for patience as it continues to transform the department.
The Veterans Health Administration has an elaborate planning process to come up with its strategic goals. Great, but headquarters might be getting in the way of the medical centers and other providers actually carrying them out. Debra Draper, director of health care issues at the Government Accountability Office, shares more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The Veterans Health Administration has no shortage of ideas for how to reorganize and improve mission delivery, namely better health outcomes for veterans. What it cannot seem to do is get the changes done in an organized way. Debra Draper, director of health care issues at the Government Accountability Office, offers her insight on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
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.
The Veterans Health Administration might have a problem when it comes to calculating mental health wait times. The Government Accountability Office found some discrepancies between when veterans requested an appointment with VHA and when those appointments actually happened. Debra Draper, GAO’s director of health care issues, updated the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on the problems recently. She joins In Depth with Francis Rose to talk about her testimony.
The Defense Department has an extra layer of healthcare coverage it doesn’t need. DoD’s Family Health Plan offers premium health benefits for employees that can’t access a TRICARE facility. But the Government Accountability Office says most of the people enrolled in the Family Health Plan have access to a TRICARE facility. Debra Draper is Director of Health Care Issues at GAO. On In Depth with Francis Rose, she explained where the FHP comes from, and why the Pentagon doesn’t need it anymore.
The Defense Department’s showing negative side effects from a rough transition to a new healthcare contractor in the western United States. Those side effects are because of a 21-billion dollar contract award to a healthcare administration company new to the TRICARE system. Debra Draper is director of health care issues at the Government Accountability Office. She said on In Depth with Francis Rose that cost overruns and healthcare delays are cropping up because TRICARE management didn’t pay close enough attention to the company’s transition process.
The electronic wait system for keeping track of and monitoring initial primary-care appointments for new patients at Veterans Affairs medical facilities is not the only scheduling system at VA that’s now under scrutiny. A separate system for monitoring VA patients’ access to outpatient specialty care — such as cardiologists, gastroenterologists and physical therapists — is also “unreliable,” according to GAO’s Debra Draper, who testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee Monday evening.