Tags: Veterans | department of veterans affairs | funding | billing | money | whistleblowers

VA Whistleblowers: NY Outreach to Vets Was to Boost Funding by $9M

Image: VA Whistleblowers: NY Outreach to Vets Was to Boost Funding by $9M
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:49 AM

Whistleblowers within the Department of Veterans Affairs say that a Long Island clinic's outreach to more than 2,000 vets had more to do with securing $9 million in funding than the vets themselves, the Washington Examiner reported.

Internal documents from VA employees suggest that the clinic in Northport, New York, engaged in a "patient engagement project" in order to reconnect with 2,100 vets who hadn't been in for a visit that year, the Examiner reported.

Funding for clinics is based in part on the number of patients seen. With the whistleblowers saying each veteran's visit is worth more than $4,000, the Examiner reported, that would come out to more than $9 million.

Northport reconnected with a few hundred vets totaling more than $800,000, the Examiner reported.

"The veterans are being viewed as 'cash cows' to milk for $9M which equals $4,285.71 each," an employee wrote in an email obtained by the Examiner, writing the plan had to be finished by the end of the fiscal year to "get that pot of gold."

And according to the docs obtained by the Examiner, employees at the clinic were counting phone calls to veterans as billable visits to help pad the numbers.

The House Veterans Affairs committee is aware and raised the issue with Northport in the last Congress, the Examiner reported.

"Data manipulation within VA — whether it be to skew wait times or misrepresent the number of veteran patients being seen to increase facility funding — is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated," a committee spokeswoman told the Examiner. "The committee is continuing to monitor this and other issues at the Northport facility and throughout the VA system."

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Whistleblowers within the Department of Veterans Affairs say that a Long Island clinic's outreach to more than 2,000 vets had more to do with securing $9 million in funding than the vets themselves, the Washington Examiner reported.
department of veterans affairs, funding, billing, money, whistleblowers
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2017-49-26
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:49 AM
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