Receiving care from a Veterans Affairs’ facility can be frustrating on many levels. It always feels like there are a million patients and one provider. Then, when you finally get in to see that provider, they are so overwhelmed they barely pay attention to your specific needs and just diagnose you with the first thing that comes to mind. If that doesn’t work, it’s like they work their way down a list and won’t actually pay attention to what is coming out of your mouth. And if you need a referral? Well, it almost makes you want to forget about it.
After years of complaints from veterans of all ages and eras, suicides in their parking lots, and numerous studies on too many medications getting prescribed to a singular patient – the VA might finally be listening. In a news release on Oct. 29, the VA announced they were teaming up with Health and Human Services’ Medicare/Medicaid. The goal is to identify fraud, waste and abuse within the VA’s provider network.
“(Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) is proud to work with VA and share our innovative data analytics and best practices for detecting and preventing potential fraud, waste and abuse across other federal healthcare programs to improve care to our nation’s Veterans,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
The press release, found here, went on to say Medicare sanctions will include proper prescribing practices. Providers will also have to enroll in a data tool that will make sure the VA will have only the most suitable and credentialed candidates.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie stated, “CMS is an industry leader when it comes to identifying questionable providers and nefarious medical practices.” This is the biggest aspect in our opinion. Too many times it seems the VA and it’s providers overlook simple details. One of the biggest examples- patient’s families who receive letters for care after the patient has deceased. And we wish we were making that up.
Countless times have we seen and heard of members of our community walking into a VA begging for help, begging to be seen and yet they were dismissed, turned away and left to fend for themselves. This often resulted in another statistic. The very statistic the VA claims to be fighting.
So, all in all, we hope they are serious and continue to advance and make the necessary changes to provide care across the board. Do you think this is a change for the better? Drop a comment!