The contract for the enterprise service bus meant to connect the electronic health records of the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs has not been canceled, say military and industry officials, although an industry executive acknowledged that funding for it has been reduced.
The Veterans Affairs Department used inaccurate milestones for several of its health care center construction projects the VA inspector general recently reviewed, and hasn't properly tracked project costs, said Linda Halliday, VA assistant inspector general for audits and evaluations before a Nov. 20 House panel.
The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee approved a package of bills Tuesday including one that would expand access to healthcare and dental care to veterans. One of the bills (S.1604) would require VA to provide services to certain veterans previously ineligible to receive care.
Federal workers and veterans benefits are set for a variety of cuts under several possible plans to reduce the deficit, a Nov. 13 Congressional Budget Analysis report shows. The CBO report (.pdf) says feds could be impacted by a range of cuts including reduced pensions and cost of living raises, stricter requirements for veteran disability benefits and capped pay increases for the military.
The first draft of a request for proposals for the modernized Defense Department electronic health record is set for release in January, the newly-installed head of the DoD Healthcare Management System Modernization Program told an industry audience Nov. 13.
The Veterans Affairs Department reduced its disability claims backlog by 34 percent since March despite mandatory overtime being canceled during the recent government shutdown, a Nov. 7 department statement says. The VA reduced the number claims backlogged for more than a year by 93 percent since April, the statement says.
Some Veterans Affairs contracts with non-VA medical providers didn't contain specific performance requirements and contracting officer representatives didn't have time to monitor the contracts due to other duties, an Oct. 31 Government Accountability Office report says.
For several healthcare centers that the Veterans Affairs Department planned to build in 2012, the department still had yet to award leases--let alone begin construction--as of August of this year. VA sent Congress a timeline in 2010, showing its plans to award the leases by August 2010, finish construction by May 2012 and occupy the buildings a month later.
The Veterans Affairs Department official who resigned last year after it came out that the department spent vast sums of money on two conferences, refused to speak at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Oct. 30.
The Veterans Affairs Department doesn't support a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee bill that would require the VA to post information about the average processing times for disability claims, said VA Deputy Undersecretary for Health Robert Jesse. And though the bill was introduced as a way to monitor and keep transparent the backlog of claims, the VA thinks collecting and posting all of that information would be burdensome and actually slow down processing.