The Phillips Law Firm strongly supports the men and women of our Armed Forces. We honor their strength, dedication and commitment with enduring warmth and compassion. Further, just as we believe that all citizens have the right of access to the courts, we also firmly believe that our injured veterans should have the right of access to quick and quality medical care.
A recent internal audit, however, shatters our excpectations as to good and efficient medical care for our veterans; and, it has us angered. The audit was performed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and it shockingly revealed that more than 57,000 new patients have waited at least 90 days for appointments at VA hospitals and clinics. A veteran has to wait in excess of 90 days for access to medial care and treatment!? That’s simply ridiculous.
The audit in question was ordered by former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. As you may recall, Shinseki resigned amid a scandal alleging that VA hospital employees were falsifying appointment records to cover up treatment delays. The results of the audit cast alarming new insight into these allegations. The results are also infuriating.
The audit was based on interviews with 3,722 VA staff at 731 facilities. Findings show that 13 percent of staff and 76 percent of facilities reported entering treatment dates incorrectly in order to show a shorter wait time. Further, 8 percent of appointment schedulers and 70 percent of facilities used unofficial tracking lists that essentially hid the most egregious of scheduling delays. As these cover-ups continued, we are left with the fact that over 57,000 veterans waited for an initial medical visit.
The above findings should have us all demanding action by the VA. Of course, the audit outlines several actions that should be taken to address this disastrous situation. Some of these include: accelerating care for veterans currently seeking care, abolishing the VA’s goal of providing initial appointments within 14 days of a request, and implementing regular inspection and reporting. Despite these proposed actions, however, our veterans deserve more and it should be our duty to help ensure these actions are in fact taken.
A senior VA official has stated that the department will inject more money and better equipment into its systems. In particular, the official stated that the VA will distribute $300 million over the next two to three months to help accelerate care. Updated scheduling software packages will also be added to improve matters. As for these updates, please take note that the VA has been using the same scheduling software since 1985. 1985! Yes, it’s about time the VA sees some updates.
Our Veterans Deserve Better
The individuals in our Armed Forces are made up of both men and woman. These individuals vary in terms of background, age and ethnicity. They also vary as to their specific duties they proudly perform. Despite this variance, they are all united in the invaluable goal of protecting the freedom of our nation and the safety of our country. The recent audit should inform us all that our veterans deserve better.
At the Phillips Law Firm, we just don’t say these words, but we practice them. Our attorneys have assisted veterans for years in recovering compensation for injuries and medical expenses. These same attorneys are also committed towards accelerating the medical care of VA providers. If you are a veteran and are experiencing delays with getting the treatment you deserve, just contact us. Our skilled attorneys have years of experience in navigating the various channels within the VA system. Our firm is here to help.
We stand committed to our veterans. Our firm is committed to justice. It’s about time we all face the VA and demand that this justice be upheld for those individuals who have proudly worn a uniform in the United States military.