WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following an audit released yesterday by the VA Inspector General finding multiple shortcomings on VA’s part to provide timely exams for potentially service-connected disabled veterans, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, issued the following statement:
“I am disappointed that VA has not committed sufficient resources and energy into providing timely medical exams for veterans who file claims for disabilities related to their military service. These exam slowdowns add further delay to a process that is already untimely for too many veterans. I am encouraged that VA has responded to this audit by committing to resolve these issues, but I will monitor whether VA’s actions result in improved services to our Nation’s veterans,” said Akaka, who requested the report.
The Inspector General audit findings included the following:
• VA has not established procedures to identify the demand for medical exams and provide the resources for such exams;
• VA cannot identify the total cost of such medical exams;
• Evidence suggests that some VA staff kept timeliness averages artificially low through various strategies;
• Veterans Health Administration and Benefits Administration managers have not effectively worked together; and
• VA lacks performance standards to enable management to adequately measure whether exam requests are completed in a timely manner.
The Inspector General audit is available here: LINK.
March 18, 2010