Waiting list for vets much longer than previously thought
The Veterans Administration released a report yesterday showing that more than 120,000 veterans have been affected by the agency's misrepresentation of waiting lists. The number includes 57,000 whose care was sidetracked and another 64,000 who weren't even on a waiting list.
The VA Health Care System also announced a plethora of major reforms, including an administrative hiring freeze, increased transparency and the cancellation of bonuses to employees who meet a goal for scheduling doctor appointments.
The data release by acting VA Director Sloan Gibson further verifies wrongdoing uncovered in Phoenix and shows that dysfunctional practices permeate the agency's medical system and jeopardize health care for 9.3 million enrolled veterans.
Audits at 731 VA facilities showed widespread confusion about record-keeping practices and pressure at some locations for schedulers to "utilize unofficial lists or engage in inappropriate practices in order to make wait times appear more favorable."
The VA is in the process of contacting more than 90,000 veterans whose appointments may have been waylaid or who otherwise may face unwarranted delays in getting care.
n a news release, Gibson said, "It is our duty and our privilege to provide veterans the care they have earned through their service and sacrifice. ... We must work together to fix the unacceptable, systemic problems in accessing VA health care."
Bonuses for scheduling appointments on time? No wonder they have a huge problem. It's that kind of thinking that got the VA in trouble in the first place - keep the paperwork moving and the vets be damned.
What's missing are incentives for VA employees to provide quality care in a timely manner. In the private sector, the incentive is to treat the patient quickly and competently. Delays and bad treatment cost money and eat into profits.
Can't wait for the rest of us to get a taste of government run health care. Give Obamacare a few years and we'll all be able to thank the VA for showing us the way.