Lawmakers suggest that in order for the VA to adequately address its health system's problems, a panel should be formed to “optimize facilities resourcing and lines of service.” The VA is also seeking authority to review its facilities and make changes based on excess capacity.
Senate legislation is looking to empower nurse practitioners across the Veterans Affairs Department to practice independently of physicians, regardless of the laws in individual states. The goal is to mitigate physician shortages and reduce patient wait times that have been plaguing the VA.
The director of the Veterans Affairs' healthcare system in New Mexico acknowledged Friday that efforts to see patients more quickly have fallen short, saying "our efforts thus far have been good but not good enough."
Amid persistent complaints about veterans' healthcare, President Barack Obama acknowledged lingering weaknesses Friday in the federal government's response to the chronic delays and false waiting lists that triggered a national outcry over the Veterans Affairs health system last year.
Many of the biggest healthcare events of the year, such as Ebola's arrival in the U.S. and the VA's waitlist scandal, were not kind to the people and organizations swept up in them.
The Veterans Affairs Department is considering disciplinary action against more than 1,000 employees as it struggles to correct systemic problems that led to long wait times for veterans seeking healthcare and falsification of records to cover up delays, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said.
The Veterans Affairs Department said Monday it has reached financial settlements with three employees who faced retaliation after filing whistle-blower complaints about the troubled Phoenix VA hospital.