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Veterans Affairs and Veterans News from HadIt.com
Curated by Theresa "Tbird" Aldrich
The facility has repeatedly run out of surgical equipment, used expired tools and dirty sterile storage areas. Conditions are so dangerous at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C., that the agency's chief watchdog issued a rare preliminary report Wednesday to alert patients and other members of the public.
The story behind the story of the veteran amputee who carried a woman across the finish line during Monday's Boston Marathon is even more inspiring.
A video of a veteran with a prosthetic leg carrying an American flag and a woman across the finish line during Monday’s Boston Marathon has gone viral, racking up more than 5 million views in the past 24 hours. Of course, the story behind the story is even more incredible.
The veteran is retired Army Staff Sgt. Earl Granville, who lost part of his leg when a roadside bomb struck his vehicle in eastern Afghanistan in 2008. The blast also killed two of his comrades, according to Granville’s bio on the website for Unstoppable Heroes, a nonprofit that helps veterans wounded in combat adjust back to civilian life.
Some ailing veterans can now use their federal health care benefits at CVS “MinuteClinics” to treat minor illnesses and injuries, under a pilot program announced Tuesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The new program, currently limited to the Phoenix area, comes three years after the VA faced allegations of chronically long wait times at its centers, including its Phoenix facility, which treats about 120,000 veterans.
President Donald Trump signed a bill Wednesday to temporarily extend a program that lets some veterans seek medical care in the private sector, part of an effort by the president to deliver on a campaign promise.
The extension will give Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin time to develop a more comprehensive plan to allow veterans to more easily go outside the VA health system for care. Under the bill Trump signed into law, the VA will be allowed to continue operating its Choice Program until the funding runs out, which is expected early next year. The program was scheduled to expire on Aug. 7 with nearly $1 billion left over.
Veterans Affairs officials on Monday announced they will not kick any more individuals out of the department’s caregiver support program while a full review of the benefit is conducted over the next three weeks.
The move comes two weeks after an NPR report that dozens of regional medical centers were cutting back on the number of families receiving caregiver benefits, possibly against VA rules.
But some vets say the plan would tax the lowest-paid service members, and they worry Congress is more interested in a photo op than in good policy.
Since March, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs has solicited input from veterans groups — but just a few of them — and quietly scheduled a subcommittee hearing on the GI Bill proposals for 10 am on April 26, even though that hearing has not yet been posted on the House calendar or the committee’s web page.
“The hearing was announced when everyone was gone,” a Democratic staffer for the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, who requested anonymity to speak about internal matters, told T&P. “Our members aren’t here, they’re in their districts.” That means the congressional panel that will mark up the GI Bill won’t have much time to prepare for the process.
Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that, effective April 17, it has suspended revocations initiated by VA medical centers based on eligibility for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) for three weeks.
“VA is taking immediate action to review the National Caregiver Support Program to ensure we honor our commitment to enhance the health and well-being of Veterans,” said Dr. David J. Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. “I have instructed an internal review to evaluate consistency of revocations in the program and standardize communication with Veterans and caregivers nationwide.”
VA Medical Centers will continue accepting PCAFC applications, approving applicants based upon current eligibility criteria, processing appeals and monitoring eligible Veterans’ well-being at least every 90 days, unless otherwise clinically indicated.
Under pressure from Oregon's congressional leaders, the Portland VA said Monday that it has temporarily stopped removing people from a program that pays spouses of disabled veterans to be caregivers.
The suspension affects one veteran whose eligibility was being actively reviewed.
Kris Ottman’s job came with the kind of stress that few ever experience. Now he can't get the care he needs.
Song remains the same
Beyond the battles over disability compensation, Ottman said he has been subjected to what so many of his veteran brethren have endured: long delays.
In one scheduling tilt-a-whirl, Ottman said he was told he would have to wait weeks just to schedule an appointment with a VA psychiatrist for the first available opening – three months later.
The VA has decided it needs more people to improve time for handling appeals and reducing the appeals backlog. The Board received approval to hire more people in fiscal year 2017. It anticipates a need for another hiring surge in fiscal year 2018.
As of October 2016, VA officials estimate that if the agency does not take any action, such as increasing staff in 2018, veterans may have to wait an average of 8.5 years by fiscal year 2026 to have their appeals resolved.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a new message on public scrutiny: Bring it on.
President Trump’s pick to lead the agency, VA Secretary David Shulkin, is unveiling a new web site that reveals for the first time exactly how care at VA hospitals compares with nearby private-sector hospitals and national averages. The site has data for roughly 20 hospitals but more will be added soon, the VA says.
VA Secretary David Shulkin, is unveiling a new web site that reveals for the first time exactly how care at VA hospitals compares with nearby private-sector hospitals and national averages. The site has data for roughly 20 hospitals but more will be added soon, the VA says.
Portland is an outlier. VA officials here are more likely to kick veterans out of the caregiver program than elsewhere. Although the decision can be appealed, vets in Portland are forced to rely on an opaque system that offers little explanation. Not a single appealed case has been reversed here.
A new study finds that adults with post-traumatic stress disorder are much more likely to experience sleep disorders, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular diseases, and numerous other health conditions. As such, researchers say that post-traumatic stress disorder should be considered a systemic disorder, as opposed to just a psychological condition.
The fight is on to change the V.A. policy that Vietnam veterans believe applies to them, delay, deny until they die. Blue Water Navy veterans rallied their forces on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
They are asking Congress to restore their Agent Orange benefits that the V.A. took away in 2002.
MAPS, the organizer of the experiment, had long opposed the government’s monopoly on experimental pot — but Johns Hopkins’ stash was particularly long dregs and short on skunk, the Post reports. The weed set aside for use in the veterans’ experiment was low in THC, but high in mold and lead, MAPS argued.