House Panel Looks at VA Health Care

The House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) Health Subcommittee recently held an oversight hearing for the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA). At the hearing, VHA was asked about recent media reports that the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center inappropriately destroyed exam requests and veterans' medical records so as to falsely report that they were reducing the disability claims backlog. The allegations were brought forward by a former VA employee. Dr. Robert Petzel, VA Undersecretary for Health, said that these reports are false and misleading, calling them "scurrilous." He stated that the VA Medical Center only deleted old requests from veterans who had repeatedly failed to show up for the exams, and that medical Records in the VA Electronic Health Record System cannot be destroyed.

Administration Drops Chanined CPO

The Administration has abandoned its call for implementing the Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) in lieu the current CPI. The Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used to determine annual COLAs for various benefit programs. The President’s 2014 budget request had included implementing the chained CPI in lieu of the current CPI, but was not implemented by Congress, and recent press reports indicate that the chained CPI will be dropped by the Administration when it releases details of its 2015 budget request next week.

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