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11:24 pm, July 11, 2014

Veterans Affairs News

VA challenged on handling of whistleblower charges

VA challenged on its treatment of whistleblower complaints about patient health and safety

Tuesday - 06/24/2014, 03:38pm EDT

J. David Cox, President, American Federation of Government Employees

The House and Senate have appointed members to a conference committee on legislation to revamp the Veterans Affairs health care system. Regardless of how Congress ends up changing the structure to address long wait times for patients, the system will need more money for emergencies. That is one request from the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents many front-line VA employees. J. David Cox is the union's president and a former VA nurse. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss how the problems at the VA are affecting the front-line employees.

Monday - 06/23/2014, 09:43am EDT
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What is vetsHQ.com?

Linda Rix, co-CEO of FastYeti Incorporated will talk about a new website that helps veterans navigate their way through the with benefits claims process.
June 20, 2014

Friday - 06/20/2014, 09:54pm EDT
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VA defends 'outlandish' performance rating, bonus systems

Despite reports of delayed patient treatments, falsified records and preventable veteran deaths, the Department of Veterans Affairs said all of its 470 senior executives have been rated "successful" over the past four fiscal years. The ratings have sparked outrage among members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, whose chairman called the performance rating and bonus system at the VA "outlandish."

Friday - 06/20/2014, 03:07pm EDT

Senate bill to fire VA SESers could further overwhelm MSPB

Legislation in the Senate would allow the Veterans Affairs secretary to dismiss members of the Senior Executive Service on the grounds of performance, and that could mean more appeal cases for the already-swamped Merit Systems Protection Board.

Thursday - 06/19/2014, 11:13am EDT
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VA chief: More vets wait 30 days for appointment

About 10 percent of veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals and clinics have to wait at least 30 days for an appointment -- more than twice the percentage of veterans the government said last week were forced to endure long waits.

Thursday - 06/19/2014, 03:12am EDT

The state of the Civil Service & the VA controversy

On this week's Your Turn radio show, an encore presentation of host Mike Causey's interview with OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. She discusses the status of phased retirement, the retirement-claims backlog and other civil service issues. Andy Medici from the Federal Times joins the show live to discuss President Obama's executive order banning discrimination among LGBT employees of contractors.
June 18, 2014

Wednesday - 06/18/2014, 06:41pm EDT

Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, Military Officer's Association of America

Last week, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve legislation designed to help solve long wait times at VA medical facilities. The longer-term fixes included more funding to hire health care providers and lease more VA operated facilities. For the shorter term, the McCain-Sanders bill also expands VA's authority to send its patients to outside providers -- including private clinics, but also facilities run by other agencies, including the Indian Health Service and the Defense Department. Retired Vice Adm. Norb Ryan is the president of the Military Officer's Association of America. He spoke with Jared Serbu on In Depth about the plusses -- and as MOAA sees it -- some of the minuses of the bill.

Wednesday - 06/18/2014, 03:29pm EDT
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Susan Tsui Grundmann, Chairman, Merit Systems Protection Board

The director of the Phoenix VA hospital and two other employees are on administrative leave following allegations that the hospital delayed medical treatment to veterans. Note: they have not been fired. Legislation moving through Congress would make it easier for the VA secretary to give the boot to senior executives. Susan Tsui Grundmann is chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board, which hears appeals from federal employees on personnel issues. She joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain how the law could change. Read related article by Federal News Radio's Shefali Kapadia.

Wednesday - 06/18/2014, 10:01am EDT
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John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service

The problems at the Veteran Affairs Department continue to unfold. Meanwhile, the largest civilian agency lacks a Senate confirmed leader. We've seen this pattern before: troubled agency, departed leadership. Some come roaring back, some limp along. John Palguta is the vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss how the VA can shape a more promising future.

Tuesday - 06/17/2014, 11:11am EDT
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Senate bill doubles spending on veterans' health

Spending on veterans' health care could double under Senate bill to cut long treatment waits

Monday - 06/16/2014, 03:50am EDT

Lawmakers push to approve unified veterans' bill

After 2 votes, Congress hopes to send veterans' health care bill to White House

Friday - 06/13/2014, 01:40pm EDT

Yevgeniy Feyman, Fellow, The Manhattan Institute

The House and Senate have both passed bills to shore up the Veterans Affairs Department. Now they are in conference to reconcile. The final bill would give veterans more opportunities to seek care outside of VA hospitals, while beefing up the VA's own medical staff. The Congressional Budget Office has scored the VA bill and estimates the expense of the additional care would be about $50 billion. Yevgeniy Feyman, fellow at the Manhattan Institute, joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss whether all the money will help.

Friday - 06/13/2014, 10:46am EDT
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Senate backs bill to improve health care for vets

The Senate acted Wednesday to help thousands of military veterans enduring long wait times for VA medical care, as the FBI revealed it has opened a criminal investigation into a Veterans Affairs Department reeling from allegations of falsified records and inappropriate scheduling practices.

Thursday - 06/12/2014, 03:20am EDT

Retirement programs, VA scandal, shrinking workforce

NARFE's Jessica Klement and Andy Medici from the Federal Times discuss a number of issues affecting feds, including proposed changes to the federal retirement program and the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
June 11, 2014

Wednesday - 06/11/2014, 06:03pm EDT

Too many vets spoil the soup?

One of America's new guessing games is trying to figure out what went wrong at the Department of Veterans Affairs and how to fix it. Some have suggested the problem is that the VA has too many vets?

Wednesday - 06/11/2014, 02:36pm EDT

Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Radio

The Veterans Affairs Department will try to address one major aspect of its patient scheduling scandal by looking to industry for help. VA is planning two major acquisitions in the coming months. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss what VA is trying to do. Read Jason's related article.

Wednesday - 06/11/2014, 08:52am EDT
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VA planning two RFPs to help fix patient scheduling problems

The first solicitation will address near-term fixes for the current application. The second one will look to commercial technology for a wholesale replacement of the scheduling application. VA says it will build off the contest it ran in 2013 where it awarded $3 million to competitors to develop VISTA-friendly scheduling software.

Wednesday - 06/11/2014, 03:58am EDT
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Congress moving to ensure speedier care for vets

Responding to uproar over delays, House votes for speedier care for US vets; Senate is next

Wednesday - 06/11/2014, 03:52am EDT

Martin Matishak, Staff Writer, The Hill Newspaper

Leaders of both the House and Senate pledge to move quickly on legislation to help the Veterans Affairs Department treat the more than 100,000 vets who are either waiting months for medical appointments or have been unable to see a doctor. At a House hearing late last night, a top VA official apologized for the delays, calling them indefensible. Martin Matishak, staff writer at The Hill, joined Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss prospects for legislation and VA's future.

Tuesday - 06/10/2014, 09:34am EDT
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