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tv   Panel Discussion on Charity  CSPAN  May 28, 2014 9:54pm-10:57pm EDT

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my concern is what is happening immediately. you mentioned is that by friday everybody will be contacted. in your words if needed to be referred out. my understanding, and the question as -- please correct me ever wrong in the first place and come second sycamore or give you my question. my understanding is that is the current policy. if it is determined of attorneys to go out the sons to from outside the system that can occur now. >> of the veteran requests care real war for him when we speak with them. >> in practice. i will tell you i sat with my own of blog minister in my district and understand and practice that the hurdles that are required when that veteran requests to go on side of the system is actually not an easy task. >> there will not be heard rules we are committed to getting veterans on the way most care as
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appropriately and efficiently and as soon as they need it. >> my question is the current policy is already if it is needed non va care is available. if we are saying now the standard for this friday deadline as if it is needed a veteran can allow, hell is that any different other than your suggesting that the department will try harder and el is that need evaluated? i am understand a call center in kansas, but those that need a medical evaluation? >> a conversation with the veteran if there is need for medical assessment. we will have a call center medical professional or provider warner's professional available to discuss the patient care and to determine the acuity of his need. >> is the standard of review going to be any more relaxed that currently is? >> congressman, my understanding that we are going to get these veterans care in the community.
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>> i will tell you, this is a problem. i have talked about this every step of the way. as i said at the beginning, the congress and the administration can get to the bottom of long-term institutional reforms. you're probably heard it a dozen times. the secretary has the authority to refer people robbed. you are asking us to trust of this same administration executing the same exact policy was already in place is some ongoing drama a different result in the next 48 hours. i will tell you, if so i will be the first one to go allows some complement the administration because i think this goes all the way. thus far we have not seen an indication of new policies, new programs, emergency measures cannot person now.
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really the only indication is that it is going to try harder and put a call center in kansas and apply the same if needed standard that already exists. >> let me go a little bit further if i may. with respect to phoenix we have already approved the hiring of 12 more physicians, three of those on line shortly. we have approved and brought on board a number of new schedulers to increase the efficiency of the management of scheduling in the way list. we will be moving local providers to phoenix as well as mobile medical care centers to try to improve capacity and capital resources to provide that care. we are taking steps to increase capacity and services in phoenix if we can provide care to veterans who have been identified by the ig in phoenix
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in a timely fashion we will. if we cannot their will be sent to the community for care. >> you indicated other facilities. >> right now va is collecting or has asked each of our facilities to lead in the five patients who are currently on their rig list or waiting for care. we're going to assess. >> i appreciate the response. i would just express my concern for the record. is this. the very same medical doctors, physicians, medical staff that have already determined these patients don't need to go outside of the system that we are now asking to reconsider. without a dramatic shift in the administrative judgment that you can expect every one of your medical providers to exercise in
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this new 48 hour time frame i have great concern that it is not going to solve it but very much appreciate the measures being taken and hope they are successful. i yield back. >> thank you very much. everybody obviously continues to have a heightened interest in talking with our witnesses. we have had numerous requests for a second round. the chair will give a second round of questions, but with that i ask unanimous consent that we have a five minute recess and reconvene. [inaudible conversations] ..
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>> you're watching live coverage here on c-span2 with the house veterans can in turn affairs committee. it's a luminary report to the inspector general at a phoenix va hospital, and it includes the finding that they have 115 days for first appointment. colorado senator mark udall became the first democrat after eric shinseki's resignation. that happening been reported here on this screen. the article begins calls for the resignation of veterans affairs secretary eric shinseki that reached a fever pitch on wednesday with senators mark
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udall, john walsh, kay hagan, and richard blumenthal, all calling for his ouster. the inspector general's report confirms the worst of the of the allegations against to be a and its to deliver timely care to veterans. it is time for president obama to remove secretary eric shinseki from office and he issued that in a statement. two republicans with strong ties to the military comest another john mccain and representatives buck mckeon said that it was time for new leadership at the va. that and more being reported and again, tonight, the house veterans affairs committee is
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holding a hearing on this matter. and we were watching live coverage right here on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> statement witty zelman, please take a seat. [inaudible conversations] >> we will reconvene. doctor lynch, i will read from the april 9 hearing here in this room. basically i ask you, does the va have every legal authority that it needs to pay for a veterans
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care, whose care is the way to receive care outside of the va system. what is your response? to my knowledge, sir, yes. i followed up. so would it be correct to say their that failure to deliver care in a timely fashion is complete western up poor leadership at the va? your response. i think that that would be a stretch, sir. i think that our system strives to treat patients because we think we do provide good care. we think we provide quality care. could you please expand on that now the you have had several weeks to reflect? >> congressman, i still think that we have a good system and i think that we have evidence that we deliver good care. we are obviously in a very difficult situation and times right now. we have identified that we have significant failures to provide timely care. we need to address that. i think that we have a way
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forward and i think that we have the tools to do that. i think it is going to require that collaborative relationship with congress and your committee and i think that i have demonstrated in the past that i'm willing to work with your committee to try to identify problems and to look to solutions. >> thank you very much for your response and i would also ask, do you think that this has been a failure of leadership or what has it been two. >> i think there is the potential that we have lost true north and i think that we need to focus on our mission and treating veterans in providing health care. and this includes the tools that we need to provide timely care. >> the letter was dated may 20, it's that these were the documents identified in the
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search of these custodians and the general counsel believes that they have complied with the subpoena. would you deliver the message back to the general counsel that the committee says that the va has not complied with the subpoena? would you do that for us? >> yes, sir. >> on september 13, of 2013, the committee requested the current status of all va health care facilities that have a wait time back on. today we received and complete information with only two of hundreds of the va medical facilities. despite this request being over eight months late, when can we expect to receive a response. >> we will work to make this as expeditiously as possible. >> no, sir we get the results of
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the audit as quickly as we can. >> we will work to get that enable take it back. the and it is the committee's top priority if that is what you indicate. >> the committee sent a letter every week to the secretary with every single outstanding request. on january 26, 2014, the va was sent a request for information regarding gastrointestinal all for it each va health care facility to date and we have received no response about this. when will we receive a response? >> on, um, consult the latest, we will try to provide it and i will get that information as to when we can provide it. >> on january 24, the request was sent for a copy of a report that contained information on
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console delays all across the va medical facilities and for complete console delay information from 2005 to the present. considering that this request is over for monthly, when will you receive a response from you tonight. >> congressman, mr. chairman, i will work to get you the information and look into that request is one of the priorities of the committee. >> have you provided any information to explain the wendy alternate phoenix waitlist was destroyed reign. >> smack on april 29, no response from on april 30 come and staff called you and asked, no response. on may 1, i wrote a letter to the secretary with no response. hence the committee subpoena on may 8.
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despite nearly a month of time collapsing, it was not completed. sir, you're recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. lynch, getting back to the waiting list in your response to the questions about the fee-for-service, is that primarily just for the phoenix, arizona facility, or is it throughout the va? >> no, congressman, we are evaluating the waitlist from all of our agility is. >> i'm very glad to hear that.
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this includes the vietnam veterans as well as the vietnam and world war ii veterans. the drawdown occurs in afghanistan and there's going to be huge need for services from the va. the va cannot provide all the services and we do have to look at fee-based services and the fact that 40% of our veterans live in rural areas, they definitely have to look at that problem there. and especially if it's in a general counsel as been had stated earlier. we only went this route when we could not get the information in the first place that was very narrow and very specific to phoenix. and so i know the va, every time we ask for information, we talk about the long list of questions that we are asking. then we tried to make it a lot
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easier when we were before this committee. the deputy secretary and we talked to him about the fact to help speed up the process and we acidly allow the committee staff and members of congress if they want to talk to subject matter experts that we can do that. so that what you will not have to respond to a letter from us but yet that seems to still be a problem and we are trying to work with you. that there has been a disconnect with what this committee needs for us to do our job for oversight and what the va is willing to give us. and this is the experts working directly with committee the committee staff, rather than having to go through this as part of a problem when you look at the frustration that we see here. and so we have these problems
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within the system and i have asked you once again, did you allow the subject matter experts to talk to the committee staff without having to go with their approval through ocla? >> i think, congressman, as you know, doctor lynch came to the committee to brief the committee and the committee staff and to engage in conversation with them. i understand. i understand the frustration on the point of wanting us to reaffirm this again. that he did not provide this -- >> ms. mooney, i can give you examples where they ask a subject matter expert, whether they can briefest on certain issues. they said that they were willing to him about they have to go there to get the oc l.a.'s
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commission permission. >> i would respectfully suggest that it is permission. >> we have an e-mail and we will gladly share it with you. and the subject matter expert as saying that that is the policy of the va. so we can address that to this attention. i have talked to the secretary a number of times about the fact that the relationship between the department and this committee is getting extremely strange because we are not able to get the information that we need to. the beginning of the term is smoothing out some of the request as far as going to the subject matter expert and that has not worked. and so hopefully we will be able to get that the way we should work it to build up trust and overlength medication. so i want to thank you for us
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and i know that you have but our congressional century officer. i want to thank you for your service and i know that you're not someone that actually has to make these decisions and up above your pay grade. and thank you for your willingness to come this evening to talk to us here on this committee. so i do understand that this is important to you for coming forward and answering the questions. thank you for your service. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. lamborn, for five minutes. >> the interim inspector general's report, it stated a couple of things that i want to ask her about. on page three and four, there is a summary of the statement, we are not reporting the results of a clinical review in this report on whether any delay in scheduling a primary care
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provider resulted in a delayed diagnosis or treatment particular for those veterans who died while on the waiting list. the assessment needed to draw any conclusion require analysis of va and non-va records and death certificate and autopsy results. we have made the request to appropriate state agencies that have issued subpoenas to obtain non-va medical records. and so how many subpoenas do you know has the ig's office issued to non-va agencies concerning the deaths of people on a waiting list. >> i don't know, congressman. >> do you happen to know, have they contacted the va about the va medical records and death certificates are autopsies? >> i am sure that they have. >> i don't know the specific.
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>> the ig to the best my knowledge is taking this very seriously. and making an honest attempt to understand and determine whether or not the deaths were related to the delay or not another critical question. and i think it's such a critical question that they are doing this very carefully and they want to be right the first time. >> we absolutely understand. let me change subjects because my time is limited in ask about recommendation number three in the report. tell me if you agree with that. we have the ability to initiate a way review and to make sure the veterans are seen in an appropriate time given their clinical condition. >> i agree with it, and it has been implemented. >> and my question then is this, for collins for the sake of example, we contact them and say how many people are on the
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waiting list. and they have a secret waiting list. how can you rely on their answer? >> i think number one, congressman, we have the assistance of the ig to help us to ensure that we are establishing integrity in our system. secondly, i believe that we are looking very carefully and we are encouraging employees to follow our policy. the procedure that he said he would use it for the 1700 to give their immediate treatment especially if they have gone on too long without getting it, using a fee basis as we have asked her about, will that be used elsewhere in the country, or is not exclusive to phoenix? >> no, sir, it is not exclusive to phoenix. if the facility cannot provide timely care to patients on the
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wait list, we will be using this fee basis to read back your. >> are really glad to hear that because i have almost 100,000 veterans in my district and we are getting a lot of concerned phone calls, as you can imagine. so i would urge you, especially because the production is under $50 million, almost half a billion is going to be turned back or rolled over until next year. and so consider this a relief. >> we have to reestablish credibility. this is critical. we take this very seriously. as no veteran should be harmed because of delays in care. we need to resolve this problem and we have a good health care system and we should ensure that veterans have access to that good health care system. >> when will this nationwide review be done? >> i believe that it's going to be completed in the next week or
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so and there was a new round of secretary requesting that all facilities evaluated from not just larger facilities, so i don't know the exact date of the conclusion. >> i agree with the intention behind it. but i still have a concern, can we rely on the self reporting to you on some of these people are hiding information? or will they be upfront with you? >> i think, congressman, it is not only our audit, but we have the ig assisting us, and i think that we have the resources to identify where there are vulnerabilities in our system. we have to do that. we have to restore the credibility. >> absolutely. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, sir, you're recognized for five minutes. >> let me thank all three of you for your service. i thank you very much. because i think it is very important that we have been
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working in the administration that are committed to veterans. by the way, the way that the veterans work in the system. >> about a third of our employees are veterans. half of my family members and many more veterans as well. we all care very deeply better mention. >> thank you. so there has been a lot of discussion about fee-for-service. and we have had that available. prior to the reasons why a lot of them don't want fee-for-service is they have come to the committee over and over and told us that they want the services in the va. in fact, i know after being on this committee for 22 years, i know it's not a lot of institutional situations, but i
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do have experience. on dinner and 16, 2003, the bush administration stop taking the va request for services. on june 15, 2009, secretary eric shinseki just opened it up and let all of the vietnam veterans come in. so that was millions of millions of veterans that didn't have to prove their individual case, which is what was needed. but it also was a great part of the system. so now how can we -- and i'm trying to take it a step further, how can we work with the community? because i don't think the va needs to have thousands of new people. how can we work with the community that is already doing it. it's not just that they are homeless, but they need comprehensive care. so how can we work closely to
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provide the veterans with what they need. it's not just a list by making sure that they get the services that they need. >> congresswoman, the va has been holding summits for the past two years out of the best of my knowledge, where we involve community providers in understanding what her mental health needs are and engaging them in participating in the mental health care. >> you want to speak to that? >> additionally i would just echo much of what you saw the last week where we have the veterans service organizations make statements and the simple truth is that the va is about health care provider for veterans and in fact they specialize the services incomparable resources in one of the most senior health care
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systems, the commander of the american legion made it the private care to help get money more quickly, saying that we have to put a caveat on that because it can happen exceedingly and there goes the entire budget, which is going to be higher in the private sector. and i know for myself, congresswoman, for loved ones who have sought care in the community while great and well intended, they did not meet the same transformative care they received in the va that was life changing for them and for our entire families. >> i agree with you and there has been a lot of accusations based upon whether or not how many people have died in the system.
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and when i listen to the television or the scandals, this is a scandal that has been going on for years. and we have done the finances and the services that we need. we have followed the budget. someone said why do you turn this back. >> well, no, we're not doing it like the other agency is going to do it. and we have that money for next year. so we continue to work with veterans to make sure that they get the services that they need. would you speak to that? and i think it's very important. >> the gentlelady sima two seconds from expiring.
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>> thank you, i appreciate it. >> doctor lynch defines it as timely care. and defined, what is your definition of this? >> right now someone goes on the waiting list, and if we cannot provide care within 90 days of the request. and ideally we would like to provide care for timely. and i think even outside of 90 days. >> 90 days is a long time, congressman. >> okay, with regard to the record, are you aware of the fiscal year 2013 when the department was trying to be a high risk regarding names and obligations by the national archives records administration. are you aware that? >> i was not aware, congressman. >> is anyone else on the panel,
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are you aware of that? >> if the department was found to be high risk regarding records, are you aware of that? >> no, sir. >> can you please provide doctor lynch and ms. mooney, a actions that the va has taken since the findings are requested, can you provide that to the chairman of the committee and the entire panel if they wish? >> we will do our best, congressman. >> thank you very much. >> with regard to how and when did you become aware of this? >> i initially became aware of the list when i was in phoenix
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on holy thursday. and actually i take that back, it was >> you to create a list? >> a doctor you are speaking of hockey match it was created by vista, when an imminent canceled, as part of that cancellation process, the list of the patients who are canceled is provided and is printed out so that it can be used to assure that those patients are rescheduled. >> okay, after this was created, who made comments and what do those say?
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can you briefly describe them? >> i don't know if there are any notes or comments on the last. >> how many people was the list circulated to? >> i do not know, congressman. >> can you get that information to us? >> i can try. i can't promise you we can get that information. >> okay, please try to get it to us. because i think it's very important and relevant. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> sir, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. though i'm you stated that the audit might be complete within weeks, a week or two. >> guest. >> my question to you, was how can you get this done so
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quickly, given the scale of the department. >> with a realistic turnaround? >> yes, i will try to talk about of that based on what i know about the audits. the va has mobilize resources from across the system and we have asked each of the networks and facilities to provide volunteers to do these audits and evaluate hospitals. this includes the information we are getting from individuals. and is that going to slow down
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the information with people? >> i am sure that there are people that were concerned. >> i think the ideas also our partner in this they have also been evaluating facilities and they have authorities that we don't have to obtain the information that we need to ensure that we reestablish the integrity of our system. >> it seemed as if you didn't conceive that things were turning into giggles. and we need to focus on our primary goal in responsibility and that is assuring timely care to veterans. that is giving veterans access to our system and providing
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quality care. >> i thought this question was really enlightening when we brought up the case of enron and about maybe how the incentives that were built into the management of the va and the health system were induced with some of the results we have seen. >> congressman, i think that is possible. i think that that is what happens when these things become tools. >> in and the situation that i'm at now. i'm concerned less about the rewards that might have led us to this point and i'm more concerned about the time it's going to take with good accurate audit that may be the punitive atmosphere may be a part of it. so that is where i'm really going with my questioning here is a sense of this. is it going to cost us to see an
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audit that is less than whole. >> i can tell you, congressman, that we have discovered system failures part of our audit and i don't think it is going to be a whitewash. and i think that we are identifying some of the name concerns that the ig has identified. >> quickly, is there a shortage of providers within the system or these particular areas where we have seen failure? is that part of what the problem is? >> there are some facilities were there are a shortage of providers i think to the congressman's point, i think there are things we can do to increase the efficiency of our providers and i suspect he would agree with me that in the private sector we can provide support services that make physicians more efficient so that they can seem more patient. there can be simpler solutions and hiring physicians and there
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can be solutions such as support so that physicians can see more patients and providing of additional rooms of bacon work more efficiently. it's not just the provider but the support that we give the providers so they can work efficiently. >> this fee-for-service, i applaud your effort to simultaneously try to get these 1700 people seen by providers, but i'm a little worried about the systematic consequences of that. is the fee-for-service sufficient and the private sector to take this on in a. >> there are some communities where we do not have efficient the providers and we are going to have to look at how we address the capacity issues that are va this oldies but we can do those patients in a timely fashion. it is a complicated process greatly after death how efficiently we are working at how efficiently we are making and allowing our physicians work
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and what is available in the community. >> thank you and i'm sorry for going over, mr. chairman. >> enqueue. >> i do want to say that this facility, there have been a lot of letters to the editor about this. there are a lot of positive things that go on at the va and i want to get that out there. secondly i remember asking the secretary, do you have the resources that you need to take care of america's veterans and the answer is yes, every time. although something is wrong if the answer is yes and the question that i have very quickly, in phoenix, what happened? and i can tell you that we had to make this more efficient. right now you have physicians that have to call and schedule all the appointments and they have to do all the data entry. they have to do all of the rings. so let me tell you that that has to slow you down and honestly if
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you have to do that. you could hire someone to support the electronic health records together and about double the capacity or 50% increase of any physician because of what me down about that much. and so i can tell you in two seconds how to make it happen and how to make this work. but in phoenix, for specifically , i had a lot of people that understand that we needed more providers because we were as efficient as we could possibly be. and this includes all the stuff that is going on. they are very fine physicians, but they were very fine positions that they've afford and i think that i have heard doctor lynch just say that in 90 days if you can get taken care, we could get shot in the private
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sector. so if you have a veteran with a battery that needs to be replaced and it's not fixed in 90 days, that we can get that better now to get his or her knee or back fixed or whatever they need done? because it's not happening right now. >> congressman, i think that it depends on eligibility, but i think that we have the option to try to do things. >> like i said, 90 days. >> i'm going to go back home and won a veteran comes up to me and says that i have assurance is from the va, which you can get your knee or hip fixed in 90 days, we can do that in the private sector right now. today. >> congressman, within the limits of eligibility, we hope to get that done. >> well, no, that's not what he said to me today. he said that we are going to do that. i heard you say that. >> congressman, we are going to get that done within the limits. >> okay, what happens this summer enact the veterans are not getting taken care of. they are having to wait six
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months or a year or 18 months to get ahead when he replaced. >> then i hope you let me know so i can look into it,. >> that is not what you said. >> doucette 90 days. >> i said as it hasn't happened i want to know about so i can identify the problem and fix it because it should have taken place. >> i'm trying to get my arms around this and what was the problem there. i realize all the list in the display list and what was the reason that these veterans can get in? no one has even said that after two hours. >> congressman, i think part of the reason was capacity and the ability to the patients in their system. it appears that they needed more physicians and they were providing more physicians and there was probably an inefficient process of handling patient was. i don't think they have
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have learned, that is one thing. but is that one thing or something else that affects the bonus? if i send this veteran out to get care promptly, it will hurt me financially. is that true amax. >> i do not know, congressman. including what bonuses provided for the va directive. >> a very is by network. >> think it's important to their facility. >> could you give me the criteria for that.
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>> commerce one, we will try to get that for you. >> will you get for me? been i guess, sir. >> okay, thank you. >> sir, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. doctor, you said he went to phoenix for six days and mostly what you did there was try to stay out of the way and so you have understand how we have heard a lot about procedure of a lot about polls and a lot about metrics and i'm not sure what all of that means. but most of the focus has been on the past. so i'm curious about the future. so if you put in all of these personnel, you bring more doctors income you improve
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accessibility and get rid of all of the scheduling schemes, how are you going to know if they are working? are you going to come with a new set of metrics or are you going to do a lot more audit or are you going to do anecdotal evidence from interviews? how we know that we are really making progress amax. >> first of all, congresswoman, the key is to usher that we have the right goals. if we hold people responsible for the right goals, how many patients are you getting into your system? how satisfied are they. if you try to gain those measures, you lose. if you don't know who's on your electronic waitlist and get those patients end, it and increase the number of patients you are treating, then you lose and we have to set up a system where we know what our priorities and goals are and what are metrics are, focused on giving us the information that ensures that we can achieve those goals and provide
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increasing care to veterans and quality care to veterans with increasing satisfaction. >> has and then bend the goal of the va all along the mad cow is any different when you go? >> i think were the difference occurred is that in some cases -- i think in some cases performance measures became the goal and we need to get away from now. that. we need to use our performance metrics as tools and we need to focus on our core mission and our core values, which are treating veterans in providing quality services so that we get good patient satisfaction. >> are you going to have some milestones along the way so we will know that progress is being made and we don't have to wait like two years from now until another crisis comes, and then we go all, sorry, those metrics don't work out and now we have to get some new ones? >> congresswoman, i think that we have the tools right now that would allow us to monitor the system, to know about access and delays and we need to ensure
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that we have integrity in our data systems and that we are getting accurate information so that we can use those tools to provide assistance to facilities and we see that there are delays with. when there is increasing demand. >> if you have those right now, why are you using them? >> the tools have been implemented over the last year. we have been putting those in place. right now in certain cases the information we are getting has been compromised by the data that is being entered into a system. we need to assure that we do clean up the system. we understand where people are not giving us accurate information and that we instill in our system a sense of integrity that begins at the medical center and it begins with the business. we have to respect the fact that the data is important because if we don't have good data we cannot treat veterans appropriately and timely. >> so you're going to have these systems in place at all? and if you discover problems,
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let's say that las vegas hospital similar to phoenix, are you going to be able to bring in all this new personnel in these new schedulers and these new doctors with all of these major changes at every facility where there is a problem? >> hopefully, congresswoman, if we can begin to identify the problems that are becoming major issues, we can work with the facilities to identify where they may need additional resources or where they may have to institute efficiencies either in scheduling or in their clinics to provide greater capacity. i think that we can use these tools in one of two ways. we can use them to make decisions as to whether or not we should be buying the care in the community or whether we should be hiring providers and making that care internally. we can use these measures to ask critical questions. are the clinics effectively managed or are you using your personal effectively. there are a number of ways that once we have this accurate
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information, i think we can get beyond the waitlist that we have now. we can get to a steady-state situation where we can actually identify the ways before they become significant and institute actions to assure that they don't become major issues and that there aren't delays that result in patient harm. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have sort of a philosophical issue that i've been dealing with in the goes back to early 2007, excuse me, 2001 when i was sworn in. i very first dealing with the va was when i was trying to help a world war ii veteran who was trying to get hearing aids. and he had been delayed in getting his hearing aids for somewhere in the neighborhood of two years. finally the way that i was able to help this gentleman is that i threatened to take my personal funds and by this gentleman and his hearing aids, but then they put out a press release that i divan than the va said, no, we don't want to be embarrassed, so
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they took care of it. so i think you have understood that maybe the va has lost its northstar little bit more some people within it, not all of it, i think that it has thousands of employees who do a great job. but we have some that have let a bad culture corrupt them. so what we have now is his system or a situation where excellent performance is not sometimes properly rewarded and if you are one of those that cooks the books, you could wind up with a bonus out of that. and the outcome was thousands of veterans are waiting for health care and some of them died while they were waiting. so this brings into focus everything. so how good is a federal government bureaucracy, this is the same federal government that spends hundreds of millions of dollars on health care website. i think that we as americans need to say what we want to do
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here. if our goal is to take care of veterans, and i think that we, as congress, we need to think about other models to do this versus using a huge bureaucracy. again, if our goal is to take care of veterans, we need to think outside the box on how to do this. this issue ought to be a wake-up call. here we have individuals able to take care of veterans and here's what we have with the federal health care system under obamacare that will have to take care of millions more americans but still use a federal bureaucratic structure and i think this is a wake-up call that all americans need to think about. to serve, i do have a question for you. there were three va employees emplaced on leave in phoenix as a result of this, do you have any idea of the background behind those put on leave and about why and what happens next with these folks? >> i believe in his testimony
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and i'm trying to think there's before the senate veterans affairs committee. the inspector general indicated that the employees were placed on leave so they would not compromise the investigation by their presence. >> the interim report that we got was the oversight on patient wait times. we have had 18 reports on patient wait times in eight years from 2005 until 2013. now is the time. so we know that they are is a problem and now is the time to fix it. and so i want to go then back to
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this. >> congresswoman, i think we've gotten the message and we know that we have a problem. we know we need to fix it. >> what i do not want to see is in a more years 18 were reports that we are still dealing with the same problem. >> congress, i don't want to see that either. i think we have a good health care system. i think we have a health care system that veterans value, and it's our responsibility to assure that we fix this problem and get them timely access. and this includes a collaboration of congress which comes up with models that have actually been exemplary and adopted by the private sector. >> i just want to call your attention to appendix e about
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the an appropriate scheduling practices. doctor, when did you find out about that and wouldn't you did, what did you do about it it had been issued before i arrived. >> when did you first see that 26 of april letter? >> probably sometime in 2010. >> there was an obvious reason why. >> i am extremely concerned about that answer.
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>> i am aware of that memo, which has taken place in the last several weeks. >> let's make sure that this doesn't happen again. mr. chairman, especially taking care responsibilities until this gets fixed. we have 18 reports in eight years and we are still dealing with the same problem and our veterans are not getting the care they need. >> you said doctor davies, did he accompany liu on her trip to
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phoenix? >> he was in phoenix, mr. chairman. >> was he part of your investigation? >> you as part of the initial visit that we made. when i returned a week or so later, i had a different team with me. >> his job now. >> his job is to -- it is in systems redesign and working with our access and performance measures. >> so that would be he is in the same position than he was in 2010. because i'm looking at the memo from him and it says for questions, please contact michael davies, m.d., this is the same person that was on this memo? >> it is, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and when asked the same questions we have asked several times tonight. the audits are ongoing right now
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in the va centers are in each of our districts today. is there any reason that the va would not share that information with members of this committee and with members of the house and the senate on specifically what is happening in the va center? >> congressman, we look forward to sharing that information with members of congress. >> are you committing that the va will be sharing this with every member that is requesting a? >> i know, congressman, that we will be briefing members of congress and their staff on the results of the audit. >> will the gentleman yield? >> just. >> is it true that senator dick durbin has our received a briefing on chicago? >> no, i do not believe so on those result. i do not know. i do not know. >> you are the under secretary for the office or congressional affairs. and you wouldn't know if senator dick durbin received a briefing on chicago?
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>> here is what i know. i know facilities have not -- not to my knowledge or understanding with facilities -- we will be briefing on facilities as we go. >> i only make the request because i read about it in the media. and so i would find it very disingenuous if united states senator has already been briefed on a facility in his state, members of this have just been asking for the same thing. i yield back the rest of my time. >> i will be calling office later about not receiving this briefing


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