Saturday, August 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

VA review finds ‘significant and chronic’ failures

By
From page A1 | June 28, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — A review ordered by President Barack Obama of the troubled Veterans Affairs health care system concluded that medical care for veterans is beset by “significant and chronic system failures,” substantially verifying problems raised by whistleblowers and internal and congressional investigators.

A summary of the review by deputy White House chief of staff Rob Nabors says the Veterans Health Administration must be restructured and that a “corrosive culture” has hurt morale and affected the timeliness of health care. The review also found that a 14-day standard for scheduling veterans’ medical appointments is unrealistic and has been susceptible to manipulation.

The White House released a summary of the review following President Barack Obama’s meeting Friday with Nabors and Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson.

The review came in the wake of reports of lengthy wait times for appointments and treatment delays in VA facilities nationwide.

The review offers a series of recommendations, including a need for more doctors, nurses and trained administrative staff. Those recommendations are likely to face skepticism among some congressional Republicans who have blamed the VA’s problems on mismanagement, not lack of resources.

The White House released the summary after Obama returned from a two-day trip to Minneapolis and promptly ducked into an Oval Office to get an update on the administration’s response to the VA troubles from Gibson and Nabors.

“We know that unacceptable, systemic problems and cultural issues within our health system prevent veterans from receiving timely care,” Gibson said in a statement following the meeting. “We can and must solve these problems as we work to earn back the trust of veterans.”

Among Nabors’ findings:

— The VA acts with little transparency or accountability and many recommendations to improve care are slowly implemented or ignored. Concerns raised by the public, monitors or even VA leadership are viewed by those responsible for VA’s health care delivery as “exaggerated, unimportant, or ‘will pass.’”

— The VA’s lack of resources is widespread in the health care field as a whole and in the federal government. But the VA has been unable to connect its budget needs to specific outcomes.

—The VA needs to better prepare for changes in the demographic profile of veterans, including more female veterans, a surge in mental health needs and a growing number of older veterans.

Since reports surfaced of treatment delays and of patients dying while on waiting lists, the VA has been the subject of internal, independent and congressional investigations. The VA has confirmed that dozens of veterans died while awaiting appointments at VA facilities in the Phoenix area, although officials say it’s unclear whether the delays were the cause of the deaths.

One VA audit found that 10 percent of veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals and clinics have to wait at least 30 days for an appointment. More than 56,000 veterans have had to wait at least three months for initial appointments, the report said, and an additional 46,000 veterans who asked for appointments over the past decade never got them.

This week, the independent Office of Special Counsel concluded there was “a troubling pattern of deficient patient care” at the Veterans Affairs that VA officials downplayed. Among the findings were canceled appointments with no follow up, contaminated drinking water and improper handling of surgical equipment.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 8 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • rlw895June 28, 2014 - 10:30 pm

    More transparency. What a stinking mess.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithJune 28, 2014 - 10:58 pm

    Puh-leeze. It is not transparency to throw the VA under the bus. This won't blow back on Obama, so he's fine with it. If it could be laid at his feet, you can bet he would be spouting off about " not a smidgen of truth to this phony scandal."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895June 28, 2014 - 11:03 pm

    It can't be laid at his feet?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithJune 28, 2014 - 11:17 pm

    Are you saying he is culpable in this? Won't matter, anyhow. The media will whitewash it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895June 29, 2014 - 12:24 am

    Not really, but it could still be laid at his feet by his critics. You think the press is whitewashing it?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithJune 29, 2014 - 7:36 am

    After CNN broke the story, it took the msm over two weeks to reluctantly begin covering the scandal. They do so grudginly now, but it is clear that their instinct to avoid covering anything that will aid conservatives in criticizing Obama remains ever-present. It is symptomatic of the liberal media. No, he won't get tarred with this one, even though he promised to fix the VA when he took office, and does truly deserve major criticism--it's been six years!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895June 29, 2014 - 8:20 am

    Mr.S: CNN did break the story, and maybe the other media didn't at first give it the attention it deserved because they had to catch up! This is truly a scandal that I believe would have made Obama an easy target for his "irrational opponents," yet the response has been amazingly bipartisan and without finger-pointing. I don't think the media has had anything to do with that. I can only assume that both parties know they are culpable and the problem was so well covered up within the VA, they both are giving the other the benefit of the doubt as to how they missed it. Do you agree?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJune 29, 2014 - 8:28 am

    The question I have is, is there anyone in the VA hierarchy who isn't tainted by this scandal? At some point, someone who knew what was going on didn't tell his superiors and thereby protected the activities below. That person or those people need to be ferreted out and fired or demoted. The severe discipline might go further, but that could so disable the VA as to be counterproductive (remember disbanding the Baathist army in Iraq?). There needs to be an amnesty for those people if they don't cover it up and help clean up the mess. They know eyes are upon them and there is a "new sheriff in town." That would be the fastest and probably best way to proceed. It will take time for the additional funding congress is going to provide to have an effect.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Clarksburg family rolls with times

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
State lifts Solano moth quarantine

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
 
Gallo subsidiary wins bid for Winterhawk Winery

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B10 | Gallery

No plea as suspect in Suisun slaying appears in court

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Man is guilty of murder after his dogs kill woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
California teacher reprimanded for sending tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

N. California officer accused of beating woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
California appeals teacher tenure ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lawmakers pass first California groundwater rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Lawmakers send gun restraining order bill to Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California marijuana grow stole reservation water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Feds critical of California twin tunnel project

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

California mentally ill inmates get special units

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Zombies are not for fun

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Armijo opens its football season with 26-7 win at San Rafael

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
No. 11 Stanford set to open season vs. UC Davis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

After eventful offseason, Northwestern meets Cal Bears in opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Prep volleyball: Vacaville Christian falls to D-I power Davis

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
JC women’s soccer: Solano kicks off season with 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Raiders face decisions at QB heading into opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Errani’s ‘cottage cheese’ serve tops Venus at Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Palmer opens with a 63 to lead in Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Pernice, Bryant share Champions Tour lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
I.K. Kim increases Portland Classic lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

A’s fall back in AL West, blanked by Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Posey goes 5 for 5 in 6 innings, Giants rout Brewers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Tony Stewart back at the track, looking to heal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Hazel Gertrude Wamsley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jerry Lee Trammell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Florence Virginia Boes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Darrell D. Stevens

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Lois C. Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Home Seller 08/30/14

Real estate transactions for Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2