Military/Veteran News Bites for Wednesday – April 13, 2016

VA Supervisors Falsified Veteran Wait Times in Seven States –

According to a USA Today analysis of over 70 investigation reports, supervisors had instructed employees in several states to falsify patient wait times at Veterans Affairs’ medical facilities. In some cases, investigators found that manipulation had been occurring for as long as a decade. The VA undersecretary, David Shulkin, announced a new “declaration of access” with a goal to allow same-day primary and mental health care access for veterans.

Defense Department to Monitor Military Communities for Zika Virus –

In response to the rising number of Zika virus cases, the Defense Department will be monitoring installations in 27 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico for the the 3 types of mosquitoes that can carry Zika. The Zika virus has appeared in 61 countries and has been linked to some birth defects. Installation managers have been instructed to increase surveillance and eradicate mosquitoes in places such as housing areas, near child development/youth centers, and barracks. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Basing, Peter Potochney, stated, “failure to implement a coordinated, sustained controlled effort will allow for a [mosquito population] that could transmit Zika.”

Panel Proposes to Close All VA Health Care Facilities –

A 34-page “strawman document” was recently released and it proposed to eliminate all VA medical centers and out-patient facilities within the next 20 years due to “short falls” and a “broken” system. The blue-ribbon panel that created this proposal has met conflict with VA officials and multiple organizations on this matter. VA officials claim that the VA health system operates better on out-patient measures than civilian. If it is acted upon, the plan would transfer the care of 9 million veterans to the private sector for health care, with the VA becoming “primarily a payer”, like Medicare.

Source: Military Times – Patricia Kime