VA - not always transparent or accountable

« Previous story
Next story »
Shame on the VA for hiding reports that will help us guarantee they are living up to their mission and responsibility. Today the Pittsburgh Review-Tribune reported the VA banned the release of inspection reports on VA nursing facilities. The decision emanates from criticism rightly levied against the VA after a 2008 report that concluded the VA “failed to provide a safe and sanitary environment for their residents.” Each year, through a contract paid for and administered by VA, the Long Term Care Institute inspects over 100 VA nursing homes. A byproduct of these annual inspections is a report that grades the facility on hundreds of quality indicators to gauge the overall operation, health, and safety of a facility. Similarly, the nearly 250 state veterans homes are subject to similar “surveys” and accompanying reports. However, in contrast, the VA inspects the state veterans homes. Numerous agencies oversee private and non-profit homes throughout the country. A nursing home administrator told me once, “We’re the most regulated industry in America. We have more people looking over our shoulder than the nuclear power industry.” If he is right, then I’m okay with that. We must respect our elders and especially those veterans who need skilled nursing care in the twilight of their lives. The more people looking over the shoulder the better. The Review-Tribune article noted that the inspection report “described how one veteran had to have his leg amputated after a serious infection had gone untreated for so long that it attracted maggots. It also described blood-stained floors, a fly infestation and life-threatening treatment of veterans dependent on tube feeding.” The VA declared the report should not have been released because it was a quality assurance document protected from disclosure under federal law. So not only will the VA not be publicly issuing these reports, they will also deny requests submitted under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The VA’s action to hide these reports and prevent the public from their knowledge counters everything we’ve heard in the past months about an open transparent government under President Obama and Secretary Shinseki. In his June 4th remarks to the House Military Veterans’ Caucus, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki stated the VA has an “added responsibility for being transparent, accountable, and showing measurable returns.” He continued, “Veterans are our sole reason for existence, and I will do everything possible to ensure that the funds Congress appropriates will be used to improve the quality of life for Veterans and the efficiency of our operations.” If we, the veterans and public, are prohibited from understanding where the VA falls short, because we are not able to review these reports, can we guarantee the quality of life is met for our veterans? If the VA hired the Long Term Care Institute to do these inspections and identify areas for improvement, they are to be commended. To hide the information contained in these reports in disingenuous and hypocritical to a fundamental of transparency and accountability. The VA should use these reports as a plan to make care for our veterans better. These reports need to remain accessible by the public. We need to understand where our local VA facilities fall short in meeting public safety and health standards and where they excel. This knowledge is not only beneficial to a family member when deciding where to place a loved one, but also the veteran community and organizations like the American Legion. If veteran advocates don’t know these issues, how can we address them and help seek more funding or better programs to improve the quality of life and services to our veterans? Shame on the VA for hiding reports that will help us guarantee they are living up to their mission and responsibility.
Posted in Uncategorized, the burner | 23 comments
« Previous story
Next story »


* To comment without a Facebook account, please scroll to the bottom.


This is a great article. It is sad that no one within our government is willing to fix these problems.

haaardcooorrre man ! i love it

thinking is flawed here, sorry but i dont agree

A seriously interesting post - but one I cannot agree with I'm afraid

thats one of the best articles i have read recently on this problem thank you

Wow! amazing stuff, I don't entirely agree so I am still interested in this.

I use this theme on a few of my sites. Can't beat it

Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.

Hey! I have been following your blog for 3 days now and i should say i am beginning to like your posts.I guess im subscribing now for not missing anything new.

This is an interesting point, i think there are a lot of things to discuss in the future...

What did you think was the best Winter Olympics Ever? Also where is the subscribe link to this blog?

When will the powers that be realize that people are not looking for them to be involved with health care reform. Just about every single federal program is really a financial wreck, and tax payers tend to be left holding the bag. If these people cannot complete the task that they had been elected to accomplish, they will learn in November that people in the usa tend to be tired of most of the disappointments and definately will get rid of all of them.

I truly like keeping up with your posts It honestly makes the morning.

Hi, I've been trying to email you regarding this post - could you please email me when you read this. Thank you :)

<a href="">Metaphysics</a>

Exactly, what i was looking for. thx

well researched article. Thumbs up!

Well, your post is actually a deserving topic to Obama and his tasks. Although I do not harmonise with some minor points in general I´m fully on your way. I´m looking forward to see his future updates about health questions. Just saying thanks for your Admirable work and writing is an important thing nowadays. Stay tuned.

Hey! I have been following your blog for 6 days now and i should say i am starting to like your articles.I guess im subscribing now for not missing anything new.

This is good that people are able to take the loans moreover, that opens new possibilities.

How do I bookmark this site ? Can you please tell me

What a wonderful post. I loved it.

If you don't mind me asking I just wanted to get the scoop on what is the difference between blogenenigne and wordpress blogs? Is it easier to use or more efficient? I amseeing a lot of blogs powered by this software popping up lately and wondering if it is better or not? Thanks...

As I website owner I think the articles here is real great , thankyou for your efforts.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Have a tip for us? A link that should appear here? Contact us.
News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.