Veteranclaims’s Blog

July 2, 2010

VA’s Continual Practice of Denying Veterans Medical Care

This is only the tip of the latest report of a problem that has been documented by the VAOIG since 1994, see Report No. 7R1-A02-114, Date: August 6, 1997 and Report No. 08-01392-144 June 25, 2009. These reports, combined with this memo, makes clear that this is an ongoing problem which has never been addressed.

Full Article at: Vets’ care hurt by bureaucratic games, memo says
“Military veterans are being denied health care due to “inappropriate scheduling practices” at VA facilities, according to an internal memo from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The memo, written on April 26, says employees at various VA facilities often canceled veterans’ appointments with doctors in order to generate better performance scores in reports to supervisors.

“In order to improve scores on assorted access measures, certain facilities have adopted use of inappropriate scheduling practices sometimes referred to as ‘gaming strategies,'” the memo says.

“Example: as a way to combat Missed Opportunity rates some medical centers cancel appointments for patients not checked in 10 or 15 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment time. Patients are informed that it is medical center policy that they must check in early and if they fail to do so, it is the medical center’s right to cancel that appointment.”

“This is not patient centered care,” the memo says. “These (and other) practices will not be tolerated.”

The memo was written by William Schoenhard, deputy under secretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

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