A recent investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has uncovered what appears to be sloppy mistakes made by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in regards to paying emergency healthcare costs for disabled and uninsured vets. It discovered that dozens of vets owed compensation by the VA had been mistakenly denied.
It’s an indication that oversight of the Millennium Act may be weak. This law allows disabled vets to seek emergency treatment at the nearest non-VA hospital, instead of traveling long distances to be seen at a VA hospital in the event of an emergency.
Non-VA hospitals must be reimbursed for emergency care costs incurred by a disabled vet if he/she is uninsured, has received treatment at the VA and is enrolled in VA healthcare. It doesn’t matter if the illness or injury is service-connected. It could be injuries sustained in a car accident or a slip and fall. Failure to be reimbursed could leave private hospitals to bill the veteran instead.
Some of the mistakes that investigators uncovered were failing to notify the vet that healthcare costs wouldn’t be paid (which prevented them from appealing because they weren’t aware), sending claims to the wrong payment office, not date stamping the claims and wrongly denying vets the compensation. So far, 25 of the cases that previously weren’t covered have now been paid.
Federal investigators indicate it could be an indication of a bigger problem when it comes to this type of compensation. The VA has indicated it is now taking steps to ensure veterans are aware of how this benefit works and educating their employees on handling these types of claims.
The VA can make other mistakes too such as wrongly denying a veteran his/her right to disability benefits. To learn more about your rights, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice from the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group Call us at 855-855-8992 or contact us online.