Government Executive: Special Counsel Alerts White House and Congress of ‘Significant Financial Mismanagement’ at VA

“The Veterans Affairs Department wasted over $223 million on transportation services and delayed payments for veterans’ medical bills, according to an agency investigation that stemmed from whistleblower allegations.”

“The Office of Special Counsel alerted the White House and Congress late last week of an investigation by the VA Office of the Medical Inspector on the mismanagement of funds at VA’s Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network, which is composed of seven medical centers and 34 community-based outpatient clinics in North Carolina and Virginia. The network’s more than 18,500 clinical and support staff members and more than 4,000 volunteers serve over 318,000 veterans annually…”

“Although the investigation did not find violations of agency policies on audits and payment reports, which the whistleblower reported, it did find ‘that a gross waste of funds existed within the [Veterans Health Administration] related to improper [beneficiary travel] payments.’ The investigation found in fiscal 2017 over $223 million in the VA’s beneficiary travel program, which provides veterans and other beneficiaries with travel payment or reimbursement to receive VA medical care, was misspent. Mistakes were the result of over and underpayments to recipients as well as payments to ineligible recipients.”

“The investigation also found that despite recommendations from VA’s Office of Inspector General, the agency’s software to calculate and report improper payments is not up to government compliance standards to prevent errors.”

“Additionally, the investigation confirmed the whistleblower’s claim that the VA Mid-Atlantic network did not reimburse health care providers, which resulted in veterans losing care and being sent to collection agencies…” Read the full article here.

Source: Special Counsel Alerts White House and Congress of ‘Significant Financial Mismanagement’ at VA – By Courtney Bublé, December 16, 2019. Government Executive.

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