WASHINGTON, D.C. – An Inspector General investigation requested by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) found that the Department of Veterans Affairs is unable to sufficiently monitor whether veterans are being wrongly charged for care related to military sexual trauma. Last year, Akaka requested an investigation after being contacted by a veteran who was being inappropriately charged for care at a VA facility in Texas.
Under existing law, veterans are entitled to free VA treatment for conditions related to military sexual trauma. In response to the investigation, VA leadership committed to changing monitoring across the VA health care system so potential billing errors can be corrected.
“I am concerned that some veterans may still be charged for care they should receive for free, unnecessarily adding complications to the recovery process,” said Akaka. “However, I am pleased that VA’s leadership is ordering changes system-wide as the Inspector General recommended. I will continue to monitor this issue.”
Senator Akaka also thanked the veteran who initially contacted him to share evidence of this problem last year. “If she had not stood up for her fellow veterans, these national changes would not be in the works. Once again, this veteran has served her country well.”
The VA Inspector General report is available here: LINK.
February 4, 2010