…from a VA Office of the Inspector General report.
We substantiated the second allegation that pending ES [Enrollment System] records included entries for individuals reported to be deceased. As of September 2014, more than 307,000 pending ES records, or about 35 percent of all pending records, were for individuals reported as deceased by the Social Security Administration. However, due to data limitations, we could not determine specifically how many pending ES records represent veterans who applied for health care benefits. These conditions occurred because the enrollment program did not effectively define, collect, and manage enrollment data. In addition, VHA lacked adequate procedures to identify date of death information and implement necessary updates to the individual’s status. Unless VHA officials establish effective procedures to identify deceased individuals and accurately update their status, ES will continue to provide unreliable information on the status of applications for veterans seeking enrollment in the VA health care system.
Not only is the VA not trying to take care of our vets—307,000 of them died waiting to get treatment—they’re not even troubling themselves to keep records.
We substantiated the third allegation that employees incorrectly marked unprocessed applications as completed and possibly deleted 10,000 or more transactions from the Workload Reporting and Productivity (WRAP) tool over the past 5 years.
They do, though, go to the effort of covering up their non-performance (I hesitate to say “failure to perform;” that would suggest they’re trying).
And there’s this insulting bit of vapidity from the Under Secretary for Health in response to the IG’s report (the whole letter is at Appendix D of the report at the link. It doesn’t get any better).
We regret the inconvenience and potential hardship place on applicants for health care and we are working hard to restore Veterans’ confidence and trust in VA’s systems and staff. We have and will continue to take timely and appropriate steps to improve our services to ensure we meet the expectations of those whom we have the honor of serving.
Yeah, dying while on the VA’s who gives a patootie wait list is such a potentially inconvenient hardship.
Since the VA doesn’t care, we should honor their lack of interest. Disband the VA, and use the budget dollars that would have gone to the VA in any particular year as vouchers for our veterans which they can find, in that year, their own quality care and decent hospitals.