Veterans benefits (51 - 60 of 559 items)
Military Sexual Trauma: Improvements Made, but VA Can Do More to Track and Improve the Consistency of Disability Claim Decisions
GAO-14-477: Published: Jun 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2014.
The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has taken several steps to improve decision-making on disability claims involving military sexual trauma (MST) and to rectify past errors. In 2011, VBA began assigning MST-related claims to adjudicators with expertise in complex cases and required them to receive MST-specific training, such as on the broade...
VA Health Care: Ongoing and Past Work Identified Access, Oversight, and Data Problems That Hinder Veterans' Ability to Obtain Timely Outpatient Medical Care
GAO-14-679T: Published: Jun 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2014.
GAO's ongoing work examining the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) process for managing outpatient specialty care consults has identified examples of delays in veterans receiving outpatient specialty care. GAO has found consults—requests for evaluation or management of a patient for a specific clinical concern—that were not processed in accordance with...
VA Real Property: Action Needed to Improve the Leasing of Outpatient Clinics
GAO-14-300: Published: Apr 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 3, 2014.
Schedules were delayed and costs increased for the majority of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) leased outpatient projects reviewed. As of January 2014, GAO found that 39 of the 41 projects reviewed—with a contract value of about $2.5 billion—experienced schedule delays, ranging from 6 months to 13.3 years, with an average delay of 3.3 years. The large majority of delays occurred prior...
VA Health Care: VA Lacks Accurate Information about Outpatient Medical Appointment Wait Times, Including Specialty Care Consults
GAO-14-620T: Published: May 15, 2014. Publicly Released: May 15, 2014.
As GAO previously reported in its testimony on April 9, 2014, its preliminary work examining the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA), Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) management of outpatient specialty care consults identified examples of delays in veterans receiving outpatient specialty care, as well as limitations in the implementation of new consult business rules designed to standardize...
VA Education Benefits: VA Should Strengthen Its Efforts to Help Veterans Make Informed Education Choices
GAO-14-324: Published: May 13, 2014. Publicly Released: May 13, 2014.
Selected schools used various practices, from mass advertising to individual outreach, to recruit and inform prospective student veterans. Eight of nine schools GAO interviewed reported advertising in print or online media dedicated to military audiences. Most of the nine schools contacted veterans directly by phone or email, sometimes with military-focused recruiters, to provide information on be...
VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Improve Administration and Oversight of Veterans' Millennium Act Emergency Care Benefit
GAO-14-175: Published: Mar 6, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 2014.
The Veterans Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act (Millennium Act) authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to cover emergency care for conditions not related to veterans' service-connected disabilities when veterans who have no other health plan coverage receive care at non-VA providers. However, GAO identified a number of instances where VA staff who processed claims did not comply...
Transitioning Veterans: Improved Oversight Needed to Enhance Implementation of Transition Assistance Program
GAO-14-144: Published: Mar 5, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 2014.
The Departments of Defense (DOD), Labor (DOL), and Veterans Affairs (VA) have implemented most of the key components of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), a gateway to information and services available to servicemembers transitioning to civilian life. However, the agencies are still in the process of implementing other key components of TAP. While originally planned for October 2013, agenci...
VA Surgical Implants: Shortcomings in Implant Purchasing and Tracking
GAO-14-271T: Published: Jan 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 15, 2014.
GAO's work at four VAMCs found that these VAMCs did not always follow VHA requirements for documenting open-market purchases of surgical implants. Specifically:None of the four VAMCs fully complied with VHA requirements for obtaining waivers required for open-market purchases of surgical implants because they were focusing on other priorities or lacked awareness of the requirements, among other fa...
VA Surgical Implants: Purchase Requirements Were Not Always Followed at Selected Medical Centers and Oversight Needs Improvement
GAO-14-146: Published: Jan 13, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2014.
Clinicians at the four Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC) GAO visited said that patient need and their clinical expertise were the main factors influencing their decisions of which surgical implants to use. Also, clinicians in certain specialties said they typically used one of the implants available on VA-negotiated national committed-use contracts, which generally establish a...
VA Benefits: Improvements Needed to Ensure Claimants Receive Appropriate Representation
GAO-13-643: Published: Aug 1, 2013. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 2013.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Office of General Counsel (OGC) procedures do not sufficiently ensure that accredited representatives have good character and knowledge. While GAO's analysis shows that VA follows its procedures for reviewing initial accreditation applications, VA relies on limited self-reported information to determine whether applicants have a criminal history or their ch...