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10:43 am, September 30, 2014

Veterans Affairs News

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VA settles complaints by 3 Phoenix whistleblowers

The Veterans Affairs Department said Monday it has settled complaints filed by three employees who faced retaliation after filing whistleblower complaints about the troubled Phoenix VA hospital.

Monday - 09/29/2014, 09:36pm EDT

VA IG unwinds tale of procurement fraud, abuse involving senior agency officials, FedBid

The Veterans Affairs inspector general issued a report alleging the deputy chief procurement officer at the Veterans Health Administration used her position to promote and award a contract to FedBid, a reverse auction vendor, and improperly acted as an agent of the vendor, creating a conflict of interest.

Monday - 09/29/2014, 05:26am EDT
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Despite new EHR system, DoD faces big data interoperability challenges

The Defense Department says its forthcoming purchase of a commercial-off-the-shelf electronic health record system is the best way to bring it into line with modern health IT practices and make its data more interoperable. But even after the system is deployed, DoD will be living with legacy data and paper records for years to come.

Thursday - 09/25/2014, 01:21pm EDT
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Joe Petrillo, Procurement Attorney, Petrillo & Powell PLLC

A big contractor goes to court to challenge the Veterans Affairs Department's plan to limit a solicitation for services to small businesses - and the big guy wins. The details of the case make it one to watch, according to our procurement expert. Attorney Joe Petrillo explained the case of Rotech v. United States on the Federal Drive.

Thursday - 09/25/2014, 01:09pm EDT
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Report: Services for female veterans fall short

The Veterans Affairs Department and other government agencies are not doing enough to help women who served in the military, even as their number is rising dramatically, according to a new report.

Wednesday - 09/24/2014, 05:40pm EDT

New, standardized VA forms aim to speed up disability claims process

The Department of Veterans Affairs is set to introduce new, standardized disability claims forms to help streamline the claims process. The goal is to make it easier for veterans and their survivors to clearly state their claims and also provide necessary documentation.

Wednesday - 09/24/2014, 03:30pm EDT

VA has one ethics officer for every 18,674 employees

The Office of Government Ethics says the Veterans Affairs Department needs to expand the legal team responsible for ensuring employees follow government ethics rules. The team has just 19 people, in a department of more than 342,000.

Tuesday - 09/23/2014, 02:21pm EDT

Former VA employee sentenced for stealing government property

Venita Godfrey-Scott was charged with stealing government property she used for various home improvement projects.

Friday - 09/19/2014, 04:14am EDT

Bauman, Spungen work to improve paralyzed veterans' quality of life

Dr. William Bauman and Ann Spungen of the Veterans Affairs Department have been working as a team to improve the quality of life of paralyzed veterans for nearly 25 years.

Thursday - 09/18/2014, 03:28pm EDT

Cheri Cannon, Partner, Tully Rinckey PLLC

Nothing like a good scandal to rouse Congress into spending money and enacting reform. The latest example is the Veterans' Affairs Department. Blame for the scheduling problems and cover up is scattered everywhere. Congress singled out the Senior Executive Service, giving the VA Secretary summary dismissal authority. Now a House bill would double the probation period for new SES managers, and take back salary if an SESer is demoted. Cheri Cannon, partner at Tully Rinckey, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with an update on these developments.

Thursday - 09/18/2014, 10:23am EDT
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William Bauman and Ann Spungen, James Peters VA Medical Center

A quarter century of hard work and collaboration is giving paralyzed veterans a chance to rediscover a healthy, happy life. William Bauman is director and Ann Spungen is associate director of the National Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury. That's at the James Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx. They're Service to America Medal finalists in the Science and Environment category, and described their work on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Wednesday - 09/17/2014, 04:18pm EDT
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Unions want more say in agency operations

Can a national council in Washington improve labor relations on agencies' front lines?

Wednesday - 09/17/2014, 02:42pm EDT
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Congress approves inflation increase for veterans

Congress approves inflation increase for veterans receiving disability, other benefits

Wednesday - 09/17/2014, 02:10pm EDT

VA scheduling investigation finds misconduct in dozens of facilities

During an ongoing Veterans Affairs inspector general investigation, more than a dozen VA officials lied to investigators. Given what officials have learned so far, the practices that raised alarms in Phoenix are pervasive throughout the Veterans Health Administration.

Wednesday - 09/10/2014, 04:52am EDT
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VA customer-service warriors on mission to streamline veterans' needs

Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald has pledged to put veterans first at the department. Maureen Ellenberger is one of his warriors in the battle. As director of veterans relationship management at the Veterans Benefits Administration, she is trying to standardize the customer service that veterans receive and make sure their experiences are positive.

Tuesday - 09/09/2014, 03:02pm EDT

Irma Westmoreland, Chairwoman, National Nurses United for Veterans Affairs

The Veterans Affairs Department has ramped up referrals to private doctors in order to get patients the care they need more quickly. But several unions that represent VA employees argue, the uptick in referrals could signal a shift toward privatizing the VA. This all comes as Secretary Robert McDonald aims to fix how the VA treats its veterans following major reform legislation passed by Congress this past summer. Irma Westmoreland is a registered nurse and chairwoman of National Nurses United for Veterans Affairs. She joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with her take on changes at the VA.

Tuesday - 09/09/2014, 10:11am EDT
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New VA secretary promises flatter, more open organization

Robert McDonald, the new secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department, says the biggest thing he's learned over his first seven weeks on the job is that the organization he leads is too hierarchical and too insular. He's promising to build a "flatter" VA that encourages dissent.

Tuesday - 09/09/2014, 03:56am EDT
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VA building on My HealtheVet successes with mobile apps

The Veterans Affairs Department will release the Summary of Care and Blue Button applications for mobile devices this fall. The release is part of a burgeoning effort to create connections with patients outside of the traditional office visit.

Wednesday - 09/03/2014, 03:49am EDT
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Jared Serbu, DoD Reporter, Federal News Radio

The Veterans Affairs Department has been making progress on its backlog of disability claims, but outdated technology keeps getting in the way. One bottleneck is the time it takes the VA to receive military medical records from the Defense Department. DoD installed a new system at the beginning of this year to solve that problem. But a look by the inspector general finds that things are as slow as ever. Federal News Radio's DOD Reporter Jared Serbu gives Emily Kopp the details on the Federal Drive. Read Jared's related article.

Tuesday - 09/02/2014, 07:24am EDT
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Inside the DoD Reporter's Notebook: DoD still slow to share medical records; New hiring initiative at VA; DISA's $12B IT contrac

In this week's edition of Inside the DoD Reporter's Notebook, Jared Serbu examines news and buzz in the Defense community that you might have missed including: DoD-VA medical record sharing still too slow; VA kicks off new drive to hire docs; DISA plans follow-on to Encore II contract

Friday - 08/29/2014, 06:47pm EDT
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