The secret list scandal hitting the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) now has Senator Marco Rubio (FL) asking if such a thing exists in Florida medical centers. The allegations are that a VA medical facility in Arizona was keeping a separate, secret list that contained names of veterans waiting to see a doctor to make it appear, on paper, that the facility was providing medical care in a timely fashion. Some may have died while awaiting treatment on the secret list.
Although the VA Medical Center in Phoenix is the first facility accused of having secret lists, many want to know if other medical facilities are engaging in the same practices. Senator Rubio is also seeking any information on secret lists from the Gulf Coast VA Health Care System in Biloxi, Miss., as they treat vets in the Florida Panhandle. Also, he’s looking for an update on the VA Medical Center opening in Orlando in 2015. The hope is this new facility can avoid waitlists. It’s a huge concern after discovering in February that around 2,400 vets in Central Florida have been on an electronic waitlist.
VA secretary Eric Shinseki testified on May 15 about the alleged delays in treatment. “If these allegations are true, they’re completely unacceptable to me, to veterans,” he said. He has placed three executives from the Phoenix center on administrative law. He’s also ordered an investigation into the allegations, along with audits of all VA facilities.
Waiting has become a serious concern for our nation’s vets. Not just with this latest scandal of delays in getting treatment, but the backlogged disability claims as well. It can be disheartening for a veteran seeking benefits. One way to avoid unnecessary delays when filing a disability claim is to include proper documentation. An attorney can help with this and other important parts of the process. And if a claim is denied, the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group can help appeal the decision. Call us at 855-855-8992.