Employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs are still denying claims for emergency medical procedures that should be covered, and some of those denied claims are finding their way to collection agencies.
Medical claims processors say they do not have enough time to properly review cases in order to make accurate decisions. In order to achieve an “exceptional” employee rating, staffers can only spend about three minutes reviewing a case file in order to process the number of claims necessary.
The VA was cited by the General Accountability Office in 2014 for mishandling emergency medical bills from veterans, denying claims that should have been approved. The VA vowed to fix the problems, but an investigative report reveals that little has changed in the three years since the problem was uncovered.
The GAO report found instances of veterans, fearing they would be charged for medical procedures, taking extraordinary measures to go to VA hospitals instead. One man had his wife drive 100 miles to take him to a VA hospital even though he had a gunshot wound.