Rep. Napolitano Signs Letter to Secretary Shinseki on VA Audit
(Washington, DC) Yesterday, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) joined 59 of her House colleagues in signing a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to express concerns about the effectiveness of an audit of VA medical facilities.
“Our veterans have served our nation honorably, and they deserve nothing less than the same dedication from us,” Napolitano said. “We thank Secretary Shinseki for initiating a nationwide access review and audit, but to fully understand the causes of the long patient wait times and to hold accountable those who are not following procedure, this must be thorough and comprehensive. Our office has worked closely with both the Westwood and Long Beach VA hospitals in recent years, and they have been responsive to our efforts. We will continue to seek clarity on this critical issue and stand ready to work with the VA in solving this matter to ensure our veterans receive first-rate health services in a timely and effective manner.”
The letter, authored by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), echoes the cosigners’ desire to complete the audit with urgency, but expresses doubt that a thorough and comprehensive audit can be completed in just a few weeks. It proposes that the audit specifically review appointment scheduling and consult scheduling practices at all VA medical facilities and examine the accuracy each VA medical facility is using to report patient wait times to the VA Central Office. The letter also urges the VA to immediately address inaccurate reporting practices and hold accountable those employees who did not follow VA Central Office policies and procedures.
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