As seen in original PDF
(from email link)


Disabled American Veterans

Department of Florida

Newsletter
By Al Linden
Executive Director


As of June 30, 2014 our membership was 60,905,
The goal for life membership for this year is 1855.




New Department Officers

The Department Convention held in Lake Mary on June 26, 2014 elected the following officers for the 2014-15 year: Commander: Andy Marshall; Sr.Vice Commander Buddy Rickman: Jr. Vice Commander Jack Johnson: 4 year Finance Denny Joyner,; Judge Advocate Jim Sursely; Chaplain T.J. Payne; Gill brown, Area 2 committeeman, alternate John Trenkle; Area 3 Service commissioner Wally Tyson; and area 4 committeeman Roger Powell, alternate Brad Bouters. Appointed Officers were: Adjutant & Treasurer Al Linden; Assistant Adjutant and State inspector Carlos Rainwater; 1yr Finance committee Sheila Sanders. Ken Wolfe was reelected President, Service Foundation and Larry Kyser was reelected Chairman, Service Commission.



VA Releases Latest Nationwide Data on Access to Veterans Health Care
Acting Secretary Gibson Continues to Provide Transparency on Wait Times

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today released its bi-monthly data update showing progress on VA efforts to accelerate access to quality health care for Veterans who have been waiting for appointments.

Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson announced that VA outreach has now extended to nearly 140,000 Veterans across the country to get them off of wait lists and into clinics for medical appointments. VA also released the latest updated, facility-level patient access data.

“In many communities across the country, Veterans wait too long for the high quality care they’ve earned and deserve,” said Acting Secretary Gibson. “As of today, we’ve reached out to nearly 140,000 Veterans to get them off wait lists and into clinics, and there is more work to be done. As we continue to address systemic challenges in accessing care, these regular data updates enhance transparency and provide the most immediate information to Veterans and the public on improvements to Veterans’ access to quality health care. We are fully committed to fixing the problems we face in order to better serve Veterans. We must restore the public’s trust in VA, but more importantly, we must restore the trust of our Veterans who depend on us for care.”

The latest patient access data is available at www.va.gov/health/access-audit.asp



Also be reminded that Chapter Annual Financial Reports are due by September 30 each year.
Chapter Officers Reports
are due within 10 days after installation each year or when changes are made.



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BALANCE SHEET
As of June 30, 2014
TOTAL ASSETS $1,318,068
TOTAL LIABILITIES $153,963


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TOTAL LIABILITIES and FUND BALANCES $1,318,068
FUND BALANCES
Bay Pines VAVS $1,050
Gainesville VAVS 0
Tampa VAVS $0
Lake City VAVS $2351
WPB VAVS $0
MiamiVAVS $0
Orlando VAVS $2800
Eglin CBOC $0




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WHAT AN EASY WAY FOR YOUR CHAPTER TO MAKE MONEY.
YOU MUST HAVE BOOKS ON HAND AT YOUR CHAPTER, AND USE THEM EVERY TIME YOU HAVE A FUNCTION AT YOUR CHAPTER OR COMMUNITY.
THE BOOKS WILL SELL IF YOU PRESENT. BOOKS COST YOUR CHAPTER $1.50 AND CAN EASILY BE SOLD FOR $5.00.
100 BOOKS SOLD WILL NEW YOUR CHAPTER $350.00. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GET APPROVAL FROM THE DEPARTMENT OR PAY 10%.
PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL ME AT davl50jack@gail.com, or 352-250-4743. I ALSO HAVE ABOUT 600 OF HIS BIOGRAPHY, SAME DEAL.

MEMBERSHIP


THE MEMBERSHIP DRIVE CONTINUES, EVEN IF YOU HAVE MET YOUR QUOTA. OUR MEMBERS ARE PASSING DAILY, SO WE MUST CONTINUE TO REPLACE THEM. TELL A POTENTIAL MEMBER THAT BECAUSE OF THEIR SACRIFICE THEY HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT TO JOIN THE DAV. IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO JOIN YOU DESERVE TO BELONG. REMEMBER THE 3 WAYS YOU CAN SIGN UP A MEMBER. OUR MEMBERS ARE ALL LIFE MEMBERS, SO THE EASIEST WAY TO JOIN IS TO PAY THE FULL MEMBERSHIP WITH THE CONVENIENCE OF YOUR CREDIT CARD AND NEVER PAY ANOTHER PREMIUM. THE SECOND WAY IS PAY $40.OO NOW AND THE BALANCE TO BE PAID QUARTERLY OVER A THREE YEAR PERIOD UNTIL THE FULL PREMIUM IS PAID. THE THRID METHOD IS GO TO THE DAV WEBSITE AND MAKE A $10.OO REOCCURANT PAYMENT ON YOUR CREDIT CARD UNTIL IT IS PAID. LETS MAKE FLORIDA THE NUMBER ONE STATE IN THE NATION. THE POTENTIAL IS HERE, SNOWBIRDS WILL BE COMING DOWN IN GROVES AFTER THE HARSH WINTER THEY HAVE HAD. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PROMOTE MEMBERSHIP.
CSO'S CAN EARN GIFT CERTIFICATES TO THE OUTBACK STEAK HOUSE. DO NOT BE LEFT BEHIND. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS EMAIL ME AT dav150jack@gmail.com or CALL 352-250-4743. The following chapters have not made goal: 1, 5, 6, 30, 38, 63, 67, 70, 126, 129, 133.



Acting Secretary Gibson Initiates Process to Select New Veterans
Health Chief


WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson today initiated the process of selecting the next head of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

“This is one of the most important jobs in government today,” said Acting Secretary Gibson. “This is the largest integrated healthcare system in the country. We need a leader who will be a change agent and deliver necessary reforms to provide our Veterans timely access to the world-class healthcare they’ve earned and deserve. The expert panel we’ve assembled to recommend our new health chief understands the urgency and the seriousness of the task ahead, and I’m grateful for their efforts.”

Beginning today, a commission comprised of nine healthcare experts and industry leaders will meet in Washington to assess a series of candidates to serve as the next Under Secretary for Health for the Veterans Health Administration.
The commission includes:
• Nancy Adams, RN, Major General Retired, American Academy of Nursing Fellow
• Garry Augustine, Washington Headquarters Executive Director, Disabled American Veterans
• Delos Cosgrove, M.D., President and CEO, Cleveland Clinic
• Lt. General Patricia Horoho, Army Surgeon General and Commander, U.S Army Medical Command
• Kenneth W. Kizer, M.D., M.P.H., Distinguished Professor and Director, Institute for Population Health
Improvement, University of California Davis Health System
• Jennifer Lee, M.D., Virginia Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services
• John E. Prescott, M.D., Chief Academic Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges
• Jose D. Riojas, Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
• Bob Wallace, Executive Director, Veterans of Foreign Wars



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Florida Membersip
June 30, 2014

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Florida Legislation
June 30, 2014

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Barack Obama taps ex-Procter and Gamble exec


McDonald rose from an entry-level job to CEO over more than three decades. | AP Photo President Barack Obama plans to nominate former Procter and Gamble executive Robert McDonald to lead the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs, which has been plagued by long waits for treatment, a White House official said Sunday. The president will formally announce his pick on Monday, exactly a month after Eric Shinseki, the VA secretary. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, McDonald rose from an entrylevel job to CEO of Procter and Gamble over more than three decades at the company. He spent four years as CEO before leaving in mid-2013 amid cost-cutting at the Fortune 500 company. McDonald is an unusual choice for an agency that has typically been led by former military leaders, but given the agency’s bureaucratic and managerial challenges, he is seen by the White House as the kind of corporate leader the agency needs. His experience makes him “prepare[d] … well for a huge agency with management challenges,” the official said, adding that he is “the perfect person to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs during this important time.” The planned nomination of McDonald comes after Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson and Rob Nabors, a White House aide sent to work on problems at the VA, updated Obama on Friday about their efforts to examine the VA’s struggles in delivering health care to veterans. The agency has “a corrosive culture” that has affected performance and care, Nabors said in a report to the president. “The problems inherent within an agency with an extensive field structure are exacerbated by poor management and communication structures, distrust between some VA employees and management, a history of retaliation toward employees raising issues, and a lack of accountability across all grade levels,” the report added. Unlike other business leaders brought into the Obama administration to help problem-solve — such as now-National Economic Council head Jeff Zients — McDonald has a record of supporting Republicans. During the 2012 presidential race, he gave $2,500 to Mitt Romney and, less than a year ago, he made a contribution of $1,000 to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). In a statement, Boehner praised McDonald as “a good man, a veteran and a strong leader with decades of experience in the private sector” who is “the kind of person who is capable of implementing the kind of dramatic systemic change that is badly needed and long overdue at the VA.” But, Boehner added, McDonald will only be able to effect change if Obama “first commits to doing whatever it takes to give our veterans the world class health care system they deserve by articulating a vision for sweeping reform. Our nation’s veterans deserve nothing less.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), the chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, held his judgment Sunday on the president’s pick. “The VA needs significantly improved transparency and accountability and it needs an increased number of doctors, nurses and other medical staff so that all eligible veterans get high-quality health care in a timely manner. I look forward to meeting with Mr. McDonald next week in order to ascertain his views on these important issues,” Sanders said in a statement.

The chair of the corresponding committee in the House, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Florida), said a statement Sunday that he hopes McDonald will lead by “focusing on solving problems instead of downplaying or hiding them, holding employees accountable for mismanagement and negligence that harms veterans, and understanding that taxpayer funded organizations such as VA have a responsibility to provide information to Congress and the public rather than stonewalling them.”

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VA Releases Latest Nationwide Data on Access to Veterans Health Care


WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) posted the second in a series of bi-monthly data updates showing progress on its efforts to accelerate access to quality health care for Veterans who have been waiting for appointments.

Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson announced that VA has now contacted approximately 70,000 Veterans across the country to get them off of wait lists and into clinics for medical appointments. Gibson also announced the release of the latest updated, facility-level patient access data, which demonstrates that the number of appointments has increased by almost 200,000 from May 15 to June 1.

“In many communities across the country, Veterans wait too long for the high quality care they’ve earned and deserve,” said Acting Secretary Gibson. “As of today, we’ve reached out to 70,000 Veterans to get them off wait lists and into clinics, but there is still much more work to be done. As we continue to address systemic challenges in accessing care, these regular data updates will enhance transparency and provide the most immediate information to Veterans and the public on Veterans’ access to quality health care. Trust is the foundation for everything we do. VA must be an organization built on transparency and accountability, and we will do everything we can to earn that trust one Veteran at a time.” Last week, VA announced the following actions in response to the nationwide Access Audit findings and data:

• Establishing New Patient Satisfaction Measurement Program- Gibson has directed VHA to immediately begin developing a new patient satisfaction measurement program to provide real-time, robust, location-by-location information on patient satisfaction, to include satisfaction data of those Veterans attempting to access VA healthcare for the first time. This program will be developed with input from Veterans Service Organizations, outside healthcare organizations, and other entities. This will ensure VA collects an additional set of data – directly from the Veteran’s perspective – to understand how VA is doing throughout the system.

• Holding Senior Leaders Accountable- Where audited sites identify concerns within the parent facility or its affiliated clinics, VA will trigger administrative procedures to ascertain the appropriate follow-on personnel actions for specific individuals.

• Ordering an Immediate VHA Central Office and VISN Office Hiring Freeze- Gibson has ordered an immediate hiring freeze at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) central office in Washington D.C. and the 21 VHA Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) regional offices, except for critical positions to be approved by the Secretary on a case-by-case basis. This action will begin to remove bureaucratic obstacles and establish responsive, forward leaning leadership. Removing 14-Day Scheduling Goal VA is eliminating the 14-day scheduling goal from employee performance plans. This action will eliminate incentives to engage in inappropriate scheduling practices or behaviors.

• Increasing Transparency by Posting Data Twice-Monthly- At the direction of the Acting Secretary, VHA will post regular updates to the access data released today at the middle and end of each month at www.va.gov/health. Twice-monthly data updates will enhance transparency and provide the most immediate information to Veterans and the public on Veterans access to quality healthcare.

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• For more detailed information on all installations see VA Releases Data on Quality, Access to Veterans Healthcare (6/9/14)


Chairman Sanders, Chairman Miller, Ranking Member Burr, Ranking Member Michaud:

As leaders of the veterans community and on behalf of our memberships, we write to offer some common views regarding legislation recently passed in the Senate and the House in response to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care access crisis. We applaud the bipartisan manner in which you have worked to move legislation designed to expand access for veterans currently waiting for VA health care. Although we have had only a few days to review the legislative language contained in H.R. 4810, passed by the House on June 10, and S. 2450, passed as an amendment incorporated into H.R. 3230 on J une I l, a?er discussion among ourselves, we have arrived at some common views, which we ask you to take into consideration during any negotiations or formal conferences conducted to achieve compromise legislation.

Although the organizations we represent have different origins, bylaws and missions, and while we do not agree on every policy position, there are certain fundamental principles and critical policy positions that we all share. One principle central to the current crisis is that no veteran who is eligible for health care services from VA should be forced to wait too long or travel too far to get medical treatment and services they have eamed through their service. Unfortunately, there is no longer any doubt that far too many veterans who sought care at VA facilities waited too long to receive it or continue to wait for it; such delays must end immediately. Over the past several weeks, there has been a ?urry of activity by Congress to examine the extent and causes of the current crisis and to develop shon- and long-term solutions. While we appreciate the speed with which you have moved, the opportunity for veterans organizations and other key stakeholders to provide substantive input to the process has been limited. Given the critical nature of the challenges before us, we offer the following joint comments on key elements of pending legislation to address VA’s access crisis.

1. FOCUS FIRST ON TREATMENT FOR ALL VETERANS WAITING FOR CARE
The first priority for both Congress and for VA must be to ensure that all veterans currently waiting for treatment, and those who would be forced to wait for care in the near future, are provided access to timely, convenient health care as quickly as medically indicated. We understand that VA has undertaken a number of initiatives to immediately schedule appointments for veterans waiting for care, both within and outside of the VA system, and therefore any legislation that is enacted by Congress must not interfere with that ongoing process. in addition, as Congress negotiates a compromise bill that contains provisions to strengthen and restructure VA to avoid future access problems, it must ensure that any debates or disagreements over such future-oriented policies do not impede, slow down or in any way interfere with the enactment of legislation whose primary goal should be providing immediate access for all veterans currently waiting for care.

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Continued from Previous page

2. VA REMAINS RESPONSIBLE FOR COORDINATING ALL APSECTS OF CARE

Whenever VA is unable to directly provide enrolled veterans with access to care that is medically necessary within reasonable waiting time or travel distance standards, VA must be involved in the timely coordination of and fully responsible for prompt payment for all authorized non-VA care. The Senate bill contains provisions that reject part of this principle and should be retained, but should also be amended to allow VA to use all available means at its disposal, including the Non- VA Care Coordination Program, to coordinate such care to ensure veterans are treated within reasonable access standards. The House bill contains a provision authorizing follow-up care, an important element of care coordination; however, the length of time for completion of such care should remain a clinical determination. Both the Senate and House bills specify access standards for timeliness; however, the Senate provision set at 30 days is the better option at this time. The Senate bill also contains a provision regarding prompt payment to providers that should be retained; however, it is more important that the final version of the legislation contain clear requirements to guarantee that VA remains wholly responsible for making payments to non-VA providers. Veterans must not be billed directly by providers for care coordinated by VA and any copayments that may be required of veterans must be collected only by VA. Finally, neither existing nor new administrative requirements conceming coordination of care should impede or further delay access to care for veterans currently waiting.

3. FULLY AND HONESTLY FUND THE COST OF PROVIDING EXPANDED CARE

As Congress considers legislation mandating the expansion of VA’s purchased care authority, VA must accurately estimate the additional costs that will be incurred and request sufficient supplemental funding. In tum, Congress must then fully fund such costs with new appropriations, separate from funding required to operate VA’s hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities and programs. Unless additional funding is provided specifically for the expansion of purchased care, needed care will remain delayed and VA facilities will be forced to continue making tradeoffs between providing additional access now through purchased care, versus expanding intemal capacity for the future through additional hiring of clinicians, purchase of equipment or expansion of infrastructure.

For the current fiscal year, VA should use all unobligated balances first, then request sufficient supplemental appropriations to fulill its planned access initiatives, which Congress must immediately appropriate. Furthermore, the FY 2015 VA appropriations bill currently pending before Congress, which includes the FY 2016 advance appropriations request, must be increased prior to final passage to reflect VA’s new estimates for purchased care for both years. It must also be increased to reflect the additional costs for expanded access in the final enacted legislation as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office, currently estimated at $35 billion for Title 3 of the Senate bill. Most importantly, in passing legislation to expand veterans’ access to health care, Congress and VA must not rely on budgetary gimmicks, such as unrealistic estimates of operational improvements, efficiencies, collections, carryovers and contingencies. These undocumented “savings” have rarely materialized in past VA budgets and have contributed significantly to funding shortfalls that have plagued VA for more than a decade.

1. FOCUS FIRST ON TREATMENT FOR ALL VETERANS WAITING FOR CARE

The first priority for both Congress and for VA must be to ensure that all veterans currently waiting for treatment, and those who would be forced to wait for care in the near future, are provided access to timely, convenient health care as quickly as medically indicated. We understand that VA has undertaken a number of initiatives to immediately schedule appointments for veterans waiting for care, both within and outside of the VA system, and therefore any legislation that is enacted bv

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4. PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE VA HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

Any legislative, regulatory or administrative changes designed to respond to the VA health access crisis, whether temporary or permanent, must protect, preserve and strengthen the VA health care system so that it remains capable of providing a full continuum of high-quality, timely health care to all enrolled veterans. Both the Senate and House bills include sunset provisions as part of their expanded access provisions designed to fill in gaps resulting from VA’s current lack of capacity to treat veterans within the VA health care system, and a sunset provision should remain part of the final bill. However, unless the legislation simultaneously sets VA on a path to intelligently strengthen health care delivery, expand access and capacity, reallocate resources and ensure that overall VA funding matches its mission, the current problems confronting VA and veterans will inevitably recur.

Both the Senate and House bills contain provisions creating new commissions, studies and reporting requirements designed to examine the root causes of VA’s capacity and access problems, and some version of these should remain part of the final compromise. in addition, it is essential that such commissions look holistically at the interrelated issues of access, capacity, infrastructure and funding in order to ensure that VA in the future has sufficient resources to match its mission. Recent legislation approved in the House, H.R. 8l3, and a Senate companion bill marked up in Committee, S. 932, could provide a proven framework (advance appropriations) to improve VA’s ability to better plan and manage its funding, especially in relation to infrastructure and IT projects, two areas contributing to VA’s access problems. ln addition, H.R. 813 contains important provisions to increase VA’s budgetary transparency and accountability, which is critical to the success of expanding VA’s access to care. I-l.R. 8l3 would create a new strategic planning framework comprised of a Quadrennial Veterans Review, a Future Years Veterans Program, and a Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) process, similar to what is used by the Department of Defense. H.R. 8 l 3 also contains relevant provisions regarding studies about how to reorganize VA and management accountability. For all of these reasons, we strongly encourage Congress to include both H.R. 8l3 and S. 932 within the scope of any negotiations or conference committee on improving access to care for all veterans.

In addition, while developing final legislation designed to expand access to care outside VA, Congress must never lose sight of the continuing need to increase VA’s intemal capacity to provide specialized care to veterans who rely heavily or entirely on the VA system, such as catastrophically disabled veterans. Veterans with spinal cord injury or dysfunction, amputation, blindness, PTSD and polytrauma, cannot receive the holistic specialized care they need in the private sector and will always require a robust, fully funded VA system to provide cutting edge services they deserve. These men and women have also earned the right to rely on a VA system capable of providing all of their primary health care needs as well, which is how the current system was designed and must continue to operate.

Finally, both the Senate and the House bills contain provisions designed to increase accountability for senior employees in the VA, and in negotiating a final compromise we would encourage you to retain provisions that provide at least some minimum due process protections.

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VA Directs Monthly Meetings Between Local Health Facilities, Veterans Service
Organizations in All 50 States


WASHINGTON - Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson met with the leadership of 26 Military and Veterans Service Organizations (MSOs and VSOs) to reaffirm his commitment to work together to address the unacceptable, systemic problems in accessing VA healthcare.

During the meeting, he updated the organizations’ representatives on VA’s work with the Office of Special Counsel to restore Veterans’ trust in the system and on VA’s progress in reaching out to get Veterans into clinics and off of waiting lists. He told MSO and VSO leaders that he looks forward to working with them to better serve Veterans nationwide, in communities where they live. He also shared that he has directed all VA Medical Center leadership to hold monthly meetings with VSOs and community partners. Acting Secretary Gibson thanked MSOs and VSOs for being VA’s valuable partners in serving Veterans and continuing to improve the department and solicited their ideas on how VA can improve Veterans’ access to care and services.




To NF/SGVHS Stakeholders: The North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System (NF/SGVHS) is honored and privileged to provide care to those who have earned and deserve the best health care possible. As one of the busiest VA facilities in the country with two hospitals (Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Gainesville and Lake City Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center) and 11 outpatient clinics we provided health care to more than 125,000 Veterans last year, which translated into 1.4 million outpatient visits, 575,000 specialty consultations, 185,000 radiology studies, 10,000 GI procedures, 8,000 surgeries, and 2,000 cardiac catheterization laboratory procedures. Our work is expected to increase even further this year: since October 1, 2013, NF/SGVI-IS has cared for 14,672 new Veteran patients. Our employees — over 5,300 strong — (33% of whom are veterans) come to work every single day to provide the very best care our Veterans deserve. As I walk the halls of our hospitals and clinics, I see firsthand the care, compassion and dedication our staff show to those we are entrusted to serve. Building and maintaining the trust of our patients must be accomplished one Veteran at a time.

As our Veteran population has grown, our organization has continually worked on making improvements to providing access to care within our healthcare system. We have established new clinic locations, expanded diagnostic and treatment options, extended our hours of operation, reviewed those waiting for care, and examined altematives to providing care both within and outside of the VA. We have made improvements in our ability to make available additional access appointments for our Veterans. Our efforts are complicated by limited capacity in the community to provide additional care, continuity of care, no show rates for clinic appointments, our clinic cancellations, space constraints, and scarcity of critical specialty physicians and primary care physicians. Even with these challenges, I want to assure you that we will continue to strive to meet the needs of each and every Veteran we serve.

Thomas Wisnieski, MPA, FACHE

Director
North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System

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New ID Cards for Vets Enrolled in VA Health Care

VA is introducing a new, secure identification card called the Veteran Health continued on next page deserve, and part of this effort includes ensuring the personal security of Veterans. As part of a phased rollout, on February 21, 2014, VA began issuing the newly designed, more secure VHIC to newly enrolled and other Veterans who were not issued a VIC. Starting in April VA will begin a replacement effort to automatically mail the more secure VHIC to Veterans who have the old VIC. All Veterans who are enrolled and have the old card should have their new replacement card by July. VA expects to complete mailings of the replacement VHICs by July. To ensure receipt of the new VHIC, enrolled Veterans should make sure that VA has their correct mailing address. The new VHIC is distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel. The Social Security number and date of birth were removed from the barcode and magnetic strip. Similar to a typical health insurance card, the VHIC displays the Veteran’s Member ID and branch of service emblem, a new unique identi?er, as well as a Plan ID which reflects the Veteran’s enrollment in VA health care. The VHIC is for use in VA medical facilities and does not authorize or pay for care at non-VA medical facilities. Detail view of the front of the - See more at:
http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/20l4/February/New-ID-Cards-for-Vets-Enrolled-in-VA-Health-Care.asp#sthash.nR4gfhjx.dpuf

Dependent changes in Benefits

The Rules Based Processing System (RBPS automates the processing of disabled Veterans’ requests to add family members or change their statuses. It will reduce processing time for changes to compensation benefits associated with a Veteran's family member status from months to days.

Veterans who have at least a 3O—percent VA disability rating can use eBenefits to request a change in family member status to:

Add a spouse;

Add a dependent biological child or stepchild, and; Add a child (age 18 to 23) who is enrolled in an educational institution approved bv VA.



WASHINGTON — Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson met with Carolyn Lerner, Special Counsel of the United States Of?ce of Special Counsel, following the Of?ce’s letter to the President regarding VA whistleblowers.

Following through on recent recommendations for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Acting Secretary committed to VA working to achieve compliance with the OSC 2302 (c) Certi?cation Program, and also reaf?rmed his focus on ensuring protection from retaliation for employees who identify or report problems. Acting Secretary Gibson updated the Special Counsel on the ongoing review of all aspects of the Of?ce of Medical Inspector’s (OMI) operation, which he ordered upon release of the letter. He reemphasized his commitment to eam the trust of Veterans who VA is privileged to serve.

He also informed the Special Counsel that the Director of OMI has retired from Federal service effective June 30, 2014.

Special Counsel Lerner and Acting Secretary Gibson identi?ed in yesterday’s meeting ways to streamline the organizations’ work together to ensure whistleblower protection during the course of an OSC investigation. Ms. Leigh Bradley accompanied the Acting Secretary to the meeting. She will be temporarily joining VA beginning Monday, July 7 on a detail ?'om the Department of Defense (DoD) to serve as Special Counsel to the Acting VA Secretary. Ms. Bradley is a fonner VA General Counsel, former Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Navy, and current Director of the Department of Defense Standards of Conduct Office where she is responsible for DoD's ethics program and policies. She is a Veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

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