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    Thumbs down Leaked Internal Memo: How VA Screws Veterans to Maintain Performance Grades

    Leaked Internal Memo Shows How VA Systematically Screws Over Wounded Vets to Maintain Performance Grades.

    A newly surfaced internal memo shows that VA health facilities get good grades by delaying and denying care.

    The April 26 memo from William Schoenhard, Deputy Undersecretary for Health Operations and Management, alerts supervisors overseeing scheduling in the nation's largest health care system that he has learned of unacceptable practices. VA facilities have adopted what he calls "gaming strategies" in order to "improve scores on various access measures" by diminishing patient access to treatment.

    An eight-page attachment identifies 24 "tricks" detected so far, but Schoenhard says there may be more. Using fine-print rules to cancel patients' appointments is one of the more sinister strategies that Schoenhard describes. Here, a patient arrives on time for an appointment only to be told he has no appointment. When the patient shows the employee his/her appointment form, the employee shows the patient the fine print on the form, which says that patients who do not come 10 (sometimes 15) minutes early to check in risk cancellation.

    In another example of the VA gaming the system, employees enter into the computer a later date (often by months) than the doctor has specified for a return visit .Another practice is recording a patient's initial request to be treated in a paper log, not the computer system, then calling them in months or a full year later (law requires they be seen within 30 days) and recording that date as their first request to be seen.

    In the block-scheduling strategy, employees book several patients in the same time slot for the same doctor or provider, leaving patients to wait for hours to to be seen, sometimes for something as simple as a monthly prescription renewal, which, due to frustration or obligation, they sometimes leave without.
    (more)


    Yeah: Delay, Deny and Hope that I die...
    Last edited by quadvet; 07-02-2010 at 07:09 PM.

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