As part of VA's ongoing commitment to provide care to veterans and their families, the Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that it will start the process of amending its regulations to establish presumptions of service connection for certain conditions resulting from exposure to contaminated drinking water at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. This process is in addition to the healthcare VA already provides for 15 conditions to eligible veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987 as a result of the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. VA also provides reimbursement of healthcare expenses for those 15 conditions to eligible family members who resided at Camp Lejeune during that time period.
A Central Florida veteran is fighting for his life, as well as disability and insurance benefits, after he said the kidney cancer that is costing him his life was caused by water contamination at Camp Lejeune. He said thousands of others are in the same boat, many of whom, live in Central Florida. He said many might not even be aware their illnesses could possibly have been caused by the toxic water.
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At least 40 U.S. veterans have died waiting for medical appointments at Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system undefined including many placed on a secret waiting list. The list was part of a complex cost-cutting scheme set up by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix aiming to hide the fact that between 1,400 and 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait up to 21 months to see a doctor, according to whistle-blowing retired top VA doctor and high-level sources.
Internal emails reveal managers at Arizona’s VA hospital knew about the practice and even condoned it. Retiring Dr. Sam Foote, who spent 24 years with the VA system, told CNN that the Phoenix VA worked off two patient appointment lists. The "official" list shows the VA was offering timely appointments within 14 to 30 days. Foote called this a “sham list” because there was another secret document where waits were much longer.
One of the most modern Department of Veterans' Affairs Hospital Centers in the US is nicknamed the "Star Wars Center." Spread out over more than 170,000 square feet on two floors, the new Polytrauma and Rehabilitation Center at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital is a $56 million project four years in the making.
It was planned after a scandal involving conditions at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and designed to replace Haley’s interim polytrauma center, the busiest of the five in the nation. VA officials say it will capitalize on rapid technological advancements, centralize treatment for troops and veterans who have suffered multiple injuries and accommodate what officials expect will be increasing numbers of patients as people leave the service with lifelong damage.
WASHINGTON – Continuing the transformation of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) into a 21st century organization, the President has proposed a $163.9 billion budget, a 6.5 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2014, that will support VA’s goals to expand access to health care and other benefits, eliminate the disability claims backlog, and end homelessness among Veterans. The budget includes $68.4 billion in discretionary spending, largely for healthcare, and $95.6 billion for mandatory programs – mostly disability compensation and pensions for Veterans.
“This budget will allow us to continue the progress we have made in helping Veterans secure their place in the middle class,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “It is a tangible demonstration of the President’s commitment to ensuring Veterans and their families have the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”
Today, the Department announced that on April 1, 2014, administrative walk-in services will no longer be available at TRICARE Service Centers (TSC) in the United States. Tricare Service Centers do not provide treatment to patients, but rather administrative services only. This change will not in any way affect TRICARE eligibility or the delivery of healthcare services to TRICARE beneficiaries. TRICARE service centers overseas are not affected. The majority of customer service visits to TSCs concern billing, enrollment, changing a Primary Care Manager (PCM), general information on benefits and plans, or referrals. All of the walk-in services currently provided at TSCs can be delivered by existing toll-free call centers or multiple Internet and mobile application sites. TSCs cost more than $50.0 million per year to operate and maintain. Over the next five years, the $250 million saved will allow TRICARE to invest in more important healthcare services for our military members, eligible veterans and their families.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decreased the time it takes to process requests for GI Bill and other education benefits for returning students by nearly 50 percent compared to fiscal year 2012. VA attributes the faster process in large part to improved claims automation that uses rules-based, industry-standard technologies to deliver Veterans’ benefits.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has purchased land in Colorado for a new national cemetery in the southeast portion of Colorado Springs.
The Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Education and Justice, along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission announced today the launch of a new online complaint system designed to collect feedback from veterans, service members and their families who are experiencing problems with educational institutions receiving funding from Federal military and veterans educational benefits programs, including benefits programs provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the DoD Military Tuition Assistance Program.