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FactFinder 12 looks at Dole VA audit

Published On: May 30 2014 05:26:20 PM CDT
Updated On: May 30 2014 05:53:24 PM CDT
WICHITA, Kan. -

After widespread problems with veterans hospitals across the country, FactFinder 12 went through a list of oversight reports from the Veterans Affairs Office.

In 2012, the VA Office of Inspector General visited the regional office in Wichita to see if it was appropriately providing veterans with access to benefits and services. FactFinder 12 went through the report and found some areas the medical center needed to work on.

The audit shows staff lacked effective controls and accuracy in processing some disability claims. We found of the 70 claims that were reviewed, more than half were not accurately processed.

The report says 53% of the temporary disability evaluations were inaccurately done. It found errors in 50% of brain injury claims  and 50% of herbicide exposure-related disability claims.

The VA Office of the Inspector General recommended the office director provide refresher training on processing brain injury and herbicide exposure-related claims, then make a plan to monitor the training effectiveness.

FactFinder 12 requested an interview with the director to specifically ask if changes were made and what has been done to meet the Inspector General's expectations, but was told by Dole VA Center spokesman Jeremy Tevis they have been advised to decline interviews.

Tevis did, however, give us the following statement.

"For two years in a row, the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center has been recognized nationally as a top performing hospital in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Joint Commission recently rated the Dole VA as one of the best VA medical centers in the country. We strive to provide world-class care to our nation's heroes."

In another report completed at the end of 2012, the Office of the Inspector General reviewed nine areas of patient care at the Dole VA Center. Of those nine, it mandated changes in all but one area.

You can download a copy of the Inspection of the VA Regional Office in Wichita report here.

If you have a tip for the FactFinder 12 Investigators to check out, call (316) 831-6166 or email them at investigators@kwch.com.

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