Secretary identifies steps to take in response to IG interim report

Secretary Shinseki addressed attendees of the 17th National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Annual Conference and Membership Meeting this morning, updating them on the status of VA’s work towards eliminating Veteran homelessness.

At the end of the speech, the secretary addressed the “elephant in the room,” talking about the allegations of VA mismanagement, the Inspector General’s interim report on the allegations at the Phoenix VA Medical Center and identified steps he would take immediately as a result of the IG report.

Watch his statement above.

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19 Comments to “Secretary identifies steps to take in response to IG interim report”

  1. It more than that healthcare hit rock bottom with me since my doctor retired. Feb cut pain meds what me go back on that make me have more worse problems gadapinten does work burns . nurses do not know look at our med records .

  2. William says:

    If it was me with everything going on and beingway trusting. I would do the right thing resigning is correct. I just would like to know how many more will go. The complete VA system needs to get fired just from what. I’ve been finding out on my own. Right on down to record and files in St Louis MO. They are just as guilty. My thoughts are files are being tampered with there as well as files being requested for claims are not complete. This is causing veterans like myself not getting what’s ours.

    • Jim Tomes says:

      If you are a Veteran and can establish that fact as well as establishing you do not have access to adequate coverage otherwise then you as a Vet should have full access to the VA medical system’s facilities and services without reservation.

  3. Karen says:

    Thank you, Secretary Shinseki, for your service to our country and to our veterans.
    Your leadership and integrity have been instrumental in moving the Veterans Administration forward. Under your leadership, the Department of Veterans Affairs has made great strides in reducing veteran homelessness, improving the timliness of claims processing, and improving the quality of healthcare. It is unfortunate that the actions of a minority of VA employees are currently overshadowing the excellent care that so many dedicated professionals provide to our nation’s heroes. I pray that your leadership in taking responsibility for these problems sets a tone of accountability and integrity throughout the entire organization, so that those who truly are responsible are held accountable and so that VA leadership applies the lessons learned from this experience to further advance healthcare and benefits for those who have born the battle for us all.

  4. Kevin says:

    Surprisingly enough, if you double the number of veterans who need service while simultaneously slashing budgets, things get screwed up. This is all part of the usual GOP playbook, cut budgets and then when the inevitable collapse happens, say government can’t solve the problem and privatize at twice the cost.

    Insane.

    • Andy says:

      Wow Kevin,,, with all that has gone down regarding lack of developing a plan to better serve vets all you can do is sing the same old song about the GOP lack of funding…you must be funded by Uncle Sam… lack of a plan is a bipartisan issue these clowns cover them selves both side of the aisle. you nailed it Government can’t solve the problem….Government is the problem..you really don’t think this chaos hasn’t cost US twice the fair market value… wake up…you been drinkin the
      ” cool aid”

    • Dan F says:

      Kevin, do you have any idea what you are talking about? The number of vets receiving medical benefits has increased by about 12% since 2008 and the budget has increased during the same period by over 50%. The VA has carried over hundreds of millions of dollars every year since 2011, including this year. I will keep it simple and tell you what that means – they didn’t spend the money given them in the budget!

      Did you know the VA spent 4.5 billion (that’s right billion with a b) on Information Technology and Construction last year. If they cut those two budgets by 10% they could hire more than 1500 additional doctors. Waste, fraud and inefficiencies abound – that is the problem – NOT the GOP. Sorry to bust your bubble brother.

      • Jim Tomes says:

        So Dan F. you are denying that the budgets submitted to the Congress was not reduced?? That the Republicans in control of the Congress hold no responsibility? That the Republicans in control of Congress who have Oversight of the VA have no responsibility? I am not saying they are totally responsible but they do shoulder a great share in that responsibility. It is an accepted fact in politics that if you make a mistake, or a misquote, then blame the opposition, press or any one else you can think of for the problem, thus trying to absolve yourself of the blame.

      • Rock A says:

        Dan You laid your points out with Logic WTG

    • Dr. David Hatfield, SGM, US Army (Retired) says:

      In fact, Kevin, since 2000, the VA budget has risen to over three times what it was (~$46B in 2000 to ~$150B in 2014), while there are only 2/3 the number of veterans (~26M in 2000 and ~19.7M today). Presidents and Congresses from both parties have continued to raise VA budgets nearly every year since 2000. The VA has received more money for IT, for staff, for software, for equipment, for construction, for research, and virtually every category it has asked for. Yet benefits backlogs grew, facilities became dilapidated, staff vacancies went unfilled, research into high-priority illnesses like Gulf War Illness were diverted and wasted, and the entire enterprise and all that money was mismanaged, misspent, and mishandled. The VHA spends far more per patient than Medicare or Medicaid, and significantly more than most private medical insurers, yet with longer wait times, fewer procedures, and far fewer patient contact hours.

      So don’t blame this on a lack of funding or one political party or the other. This is pure ineptness on a long line of management throughout the VA, the VBA, and the VHA. A thorough housecleaning is in order, with new people, new procedures, new policies, better management oversight, and more integrity and honesty inculcated throughout the system.

  5. victor m. zavala says:

    Hope the OIG look at some of us veterans OIG complains not only on the Az.. area but in Texas too, especially South Texas Area, we got big problem here too not only in Az. I file a Form with the OIG, hope they take a look at mine, My VA Clinic Refuse to Refill My Service Connected Meds back in 2010.
    Retired SFC Victor M. Zavala Sr.

  6. JIM WELLS says:

    The VA IG Report spells out that the scheduling shenanigans to fake records that contributed to 40+ deaths was not “mismanagement,” it was standard management practice, documented & detailed in April 2010.

  7. edward heldman says:

    Too little and probably too late! It won’t bring back our veterans who died waiting for Phoenix VA healthcare. NOW, criminal prosecutions must be forthcoming!

  8. Robert Frett says:

    Talk, talk, talk! Is this just more talk and eye wash. Fire the director of the Memphis VA. Stop bonuses. I have worked for the government for over thirty five years and no one has ever paid me a bonus… I worked in the postal service for fifteen years before taking a early retirement, (as well as 20 years in the Air Force), bonuses are a big problem. These clowns that are placed over you will do or say anything to you, (to include firing you) for the sake of a bonus! These people need to be fired! This will send a signal to them all that they need to do there jobs and treat workers with dignity and respect. Why so many seem to be surprised about what is happening in the VA is beyond my thinking. I guess there are those that think we like to hear the inside of our heads raddle? Stop all the talking and get to the business of providing services to Vets!

  9. Mike says:

    I feel sorry for some of the doc,s at the va the paper work load they have is astronomical. I got a copy if my medical records for the last year + it is over 300 pages most of the stuff they have to put un is useless information. and they have to go thorough those records to try to treat one. my records have 20 years of info in the and some of the info is very impotent that was done in the last 8 years. If you use several different visions in that time it is hard and slow for the doc,s to go in to the other systems. the va has tided the hands of the doctors and stiff and they don’t have time to see all of the patents and go really go through the records right. They would be at the va 24 hrs a day 365 days a year and still would not have enough time.

  10. Charley says:

    Secy Shenseki resigned today, why? No one has resigned or been fired for Fast & Furious, Bengazi, IRS, NSA ! It’s not his fault if he didn’t know he was being lied to by a few VA centers. If he would have known, he would have corrected it. My VA hospital in Cleveland does an excellent job of providing prompt healthcare to vets. Why should they be subjected to a congressional witch hunt because of corrupt practices by a few other centers? Why is the media so fascinated by this story? Is it because it provides a means of humiliating a patriot like Gen. Shenseki, I wonder!

  11. Surprisingly enough, if you double the number of veterans who need service while simultaneously slashing budgets, things get screwed up.

  12. Thomas E. Stambaugh says:

    I applaud the VA’s internal audit of itself. I applaud their willingness to uncover areas which need correction and their act of taking steps to correct the indicated deficiencies. In my opinion, public satisfaction will only be increased by an outside audit. The auditor general of the US, or a CPA firm skilled in operational auditing are two potentially valuable audit agencies.

  13. Robert Frett says:

    I just hear that all bonus(s) have been suspended for FY 2014 and that the Memphis and Nashville offices have been identified as VA’s that a higher level of scrutiny. To that I say good job. To further address bonus. I served 20 years an 20 days in the U S Air Force, (Retired), 15 years for the U S Postal Service and no one ever offered me a bonus for doing my job. While working for the postal service I notice that the PO and the VA both have this problem. And the problem, simply stated is: there seems to always come a point when a person starts working for the bonus instead of working for the job! That being a problem, I say stop bonus(s) forever. Get their minds off the money an back on to the basics of daily operations. As far as accountibility, I totally agree with it because I was always held accountable for what ever I did. It is only far that administers be held to the same standard, (I was told we all worked for the Same company?). If you can’t fire them, demote them and place them under those he/she screwed.