Published: 15 June 2014 The Military Benefits Podcast
In this week's Military Benefits Podcast, we talk to Military.com benefits expert Terry Howell, who provides an update on the ongoing VA healthcare "wait list" crisis, and offers his predictions and what changes veterans will (and might) see with their healthcare moving forward.
- A follow-in audit by VA has found that delays in healthcare have occurred at VA facilities other than the Phoenix VA, with 100,000 on "wait lists." Full details have yet to be released.
- The Senate has passed a reform bill this week that includes reforming the VA healthcare system. It is expected that the bill will change by the time it is signed into law (if it makes it that far).
- The current crisis has come about due to the increased numbers of veterans needing healthcare, and "incentivization" within VA for creating wait lists. This is a phenomenon that occurs in healthcare systems other than VA, but it is clear that VA will be given a mandate to clean up its process.
- Another obstacle to VA reform is federal employment laws, which make it difficult to fire an employee for subpar performance.
- The solution for this issue needs to be multi-pronged: a commitment to change, transparency, and honesty (i.e., pointing at funding or bureaucratic process as the major problem),
- In the near term, expect to see more outreach to veterans from the wait list, and more healthcare options outside VA being offered to veterans, including care from private vendors, but keep in mind that moving care to an outside vendor will bring its own potential problems (i.e., transmitting health records back and forth, potential billing issues).