Congressional Task: Solve the VA Choice Program Funding Problem

As they return from legislative recess, lawmakers will have only a few days to address financial problems with the Veterans Affairs Choice program before users start to see significant problems. VA Secretary David Shulkin warned lawmakers that money in the Choice program funds was being spent at a faster rate than expected, threatening to bankrupt the program before the end of the fiscal year. He has asked for authority to move money from other sources to cover the funding gaps, ensuring that veteran medical appointments …

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VA Secretary David Shulkin’s Vision for the Veterans Affairs Department

Future Veterans Affairs clinics could feature fewer maternity services, fewer cancer specialists and more reliance on private-sector clinics for routine or non-military care, under Secretary David Shulkins vision for the department.We dont have enough resources to do everything” he said, “so lets build an integrated system that relies on what already exists in the private sector with what needs to be enhanced in the VA. This is not a move towards privatization, he said. “This is amove to help veterans.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2sBPlPV

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Veterans Complaint Hotline Activated

The Presidents promised hotline for veteran complaints has officially launched. The phone line (855-948-2311) is designed to collect, process and respond to the complaints of individual veterans in a responsive, timely and accountable manner, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA Secretary Shulkin described the initial roll out of the line as a soft launch, with live-answer agents receiving and processing some of the calls. By Aug. 15, the hotline will have continuous coverage from a live operator 24 hours a day, every day …

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House Approves Legislation to Cut Processing Time on VA Disability Appeals

The House has approved legislation to cut the time it takes for the Department of Veterans Affairs to handle appeals from veterans unhappy with their disability payouts. It’s an effort to reduce a rapidly growing claims backlog. The bill would overhaul the current VA appeals process, long described by VA Secretary David Shulkin and his predecessors as “broken.” Lawmakers hope the legislation ultimately could reduce average wait times to less than a year.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2qhNYIw

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State Level Veterans Affairs Departments Work Hand-in-Hand With VA

State Veterans Affairs agencies are second only to the federal Veterans Affairs in providing benefits and services to veterans and their families.  The state departments, while independent of the federal VA, are key partners in the mission to fulfill the promise of Abraham Lincoln: to care for those “who shall have borne the battle.”  State agencies primarily assist vets with accessing and applying for federal VA care and benefits. In addition to connecting vets to federal resources, each state government offers additional benefits or services to their …

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VA Costs Could Balloon With ‘Choice’ Reform and New Agent Orange Ailments

VA Secretary David J. Shulkin announced that his priorities for improving services to veterans include expanding access to private sector health care. The administration wants Choice extended and expanded, as do some key congressional leaders, despite warnings from veteran service organizations that shifting too many patients and too much funding to private sector care could begin a slide toward full privatization of VA health care.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2mLRkOq

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Message from VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin

The full Senate voted to approve Dr. David Shulkin as the next head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, making him the only holdover from the Obama administration to hold a cabinet post under President Donald Trump. The vote was unanimous, 100-0, for Shulkin, who had served as the Under Secretary for Health at the VA for the past 19 months. He was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence and he issued his initial message as VA Secretary to veterans.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2lRpH9c AND http://bit.ly/2kCVyp3

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VA Secretary Nominee David Shulkin Plans to Reform the Department but Not Privatize Care

Dr. David Shulkin testifies before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Feb 8th. Shulkin has been nominated to serve as the next VA Secretary. He plans to “majorly reform the department” if he’s confirmed, including far greater accountability, dramatically improved access, responsiveness, and expanded care options. One thing he says he won’t include is a move toward privatized care.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2kC8RK6

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VA Secretary urges Congress to help improve disability appeals process

In his second plea to Congress in a week, Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald on Wednesday said his department’s benefits appeals process is “failing veterans” and asked lawmakers for a massive overhaul to fix the process.  The Secretary said he needs both legislation and resourcing to “put in place a simplified appeals process” to handle the cases in a matter of months, instead of years.

Read More: http://bit.ly/1SoVqH3

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Email Alert – 25 Jun 2014: Acting VA Secretary Gibson Speaks up for Agency’s Employees

While admitting systemic problems, the new head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said that the vast majority of the employees at his beleaguered agency are not the issue.

Read more at:
http://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/acting-va-secretary-gibson-speaks-up-for-agency-s-employees-1.288703

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