Did you know for the year 2014 the Veterans Administration (VA) has proposed 2.478 billion dollars for Prosthetics Care? By Definition, prosthetics are: – An artificial device that replaces a missing body part lost through trauma, disease, or congenital conditions. However, the VA also provides braces and other devices through their prosthetics clinics.
A visit to any VA center will provide the visitor with an opportunity to witness the massive number of devices needed by veterans for their rehabilitation or adaptation. Everything from artificial limbs to wheelchairs to leg braces, this equipment is neither cheap, nor free.
So what happens when a Veteran is provided with the wrong medical device? First the device is very often shipped by the VA via United Parcel Service (UPS) or Federal Express (FED EX) from the vendor to the veteran’s residence. (And we wonder why the US Postal Service is going broke??? Because government vendors are not required to ship via US Mail per their contract with the VA. Just an observation).
After the device is delivered, and the veteran realizes they received the wrong device they will need to notify someone at the VA Center to correct the error. Aside from the delay they most likely have already experience, this adds to the waiting time before they can realize any medical benefit from the device.
What’s most interesting is that rarely are the incorrect devices required to be returned, so it apparently is chalked up as a loss. The VA and their vendors will not take the devices back. Instead the vet keeps the wrong device which is unusable to him or her and another order is placed for the correct device.
It would be interesting to explore how often these types of errors occur, and what the total dollar amount is for such errors. Reducing and correcting such errors surely provides an opportunity for cost savings for the American people while increasing the speed with which veterans are treated, but then again who on earth wants to measure mistakes at their job?
When we begin to really take the care of our veterans more seriously we will begin to do the hard things like targeting errors for improvement. Until then what we have is status quo and missed opportunities, and mediocre care for our veterans
Our veterans deserve better… share your stories with me.
Thank a veteran today!
- Massive Veterans Claims Backlog: When Will the Problem Get Fixed? (foxnewsinsider.com)