The VA situation not getting any better, no end in sight
Ooof. This is devastating when it is laid out like this, I'm going to give you three of them, but you should go read the rest:
4. VA spends almost $500 million on conference rooms and curtains
Over a four-and-a-half year period, the VA spent $489 million on its office spaces. Highlights of these “makeovers” include $6.8 million to build one conference room in Illinois, $1.8 million on office furniture in Puerto Rico, and $10.7 million on draperies nationwide.
7. VA spends millions on lavish conferences
In 2011, the Department spent over $220,000 on an 11-day conference VA employees at a resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. That same year, the VA held two training conferences in Orlando, costing a combined $6.1 million — with at least $762,000 wasted. Questionable purchases at the Orlando conference included karaoke machines and artisan cheese displays, $184,000 worth of breakfast sandwiches, $16,500 for the production of “happy face” videos featuring daily recaps of conference events, close to $100,000 worth of promotional favors, and $50,000 for the production of a video parody.
9. VA spends over $500,000 on artwork and photographs to decorate its facilities
In 2013, the VA purchased $562,000 worth of artwork to decorate various agency facilities. A VA spokesperson described the art as “motivational and calming, professionally designed to enhance clinical operations.”
For some reason people thought that after the Phoenix wave of bad news was over it would get better for VA. NOT EVEN CLOSE. This is just from this morning:
Five heart patients at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center died within 30 days of their surgeries, prompting the temporary closure of the hospital’s heart surgery program until a federal review is complete.
The deaths have been reported since October.
Dr. Mark Huycke, the chief of staff at the hospital, said in an email that expert reviews of recent deaths after heart surgery have been completed with “no concerns identified.”
“The cardiac surgery program is expected to resume full operations once the review is completed,” he said. “The VA takes pride in ensuring veterans receive top quality healthcare. This type of clinical review is a normal oversight function within the VA.”
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — The most recent Veterans Affairs audit found that waiting times for new patient appointments in Hawaii were the highest in the nation, with veterans waiting almost five months to see a doctor.
But the director of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System has found at least one bright spot in the dismal findings of the audit, which was sparked by an inspector general report that staff in the Phoenix VA system had been deliberately falsifying statistics on wait times in order to qualify for bonuses.
Congress in 2009 authorized one-time payments to Filipinos who served as soldiers, guerrillas and scouts alongside U.S. forces fighting the Japanese. Close to 43,000 claims were filed but only 18,900 were found eligible, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
While some veterans missed the September 2010 deadline, others were denied compensation because reconstructed guerrilla rosters submitted as documentation were rejected by the VA and the National Personnel Records Center, which is the depository for the service records of individuals.
The filming of a TV series that took over the entire second floor of a Los Angeles VA center and conferences attended by VA health care providers—which included topics on how to plan a party—contributed to the delay of care for veterans, according to interviews with VA staffers and veterans.
Dr. Roy Marokus, who currently serves in private practice, told the Free Beacon that veterans were denied care because of a mandatory conference he attended last March.
Marokus said veterans’ appointments were cancelled so VA medical providers could attend the two-day conference. Medical providers at the VA Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where Marokus briefly worked, and providers at all other VA medical centers in the Veterans Integrated Services Network, attended the conference.
Those thinking this was coming to an end are being proven wrong in a big way...