Roby comments on reports of misconduct at Central Alabama VA

Published 06/09 2014 03:44PM

Updated 06/09 2014 09:47PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) today commented on the revelation that employees within the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) falsified records to hide long wait times for veterans care.

The Montgomery Advertiser is reporting that a federal audit to be released Monday will show CAVHCS as one of 84 VA facilities nationwide being investigated for “unethical scheduling practices.” The Central Alabama System is expected to be classified amongst the most serious cases.

"I hear from area veterans everyday who experience difficulty dealing with the VA," Rep. Roby said. "Their stories and this report confirm what we've suspected for some time about the pattern of neglect and mismanagement within the VA.

“It is disgusting and infuriating to know that the atrocious behavior we have heard about elsewhere has been happening right here in Central Alabama.”

Rep. Roby met Friday with CAVHCS Director James Talton to discuss the upcoming report. Talton said that when he discovered the suspicious discrepancies within his system, he alerted the Inspector General and then terminated employees responsible.

"I appreciate Director Talton for taking responsibility and holding bad actors accountable since discovering the misconduct. But, this isn’t over. Anyone found to have mistreated veterans, altered wait list documents, or been complicit with such behavior should be immediately terminated and possibly prosecuted.

"More than anything we must find ways to fix the problems that have led to these outrageous wait times. I am deeply involved in VA reform efforts in Congress, seeking commonsense, bi-partisan changes that will get our veterans the care they deserve.”

Rep. Roby has urged the VA both nationally and locally utilize its Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) program, which allows VA medical centers to contract with local, non-VA health care providers for services like mental health care or specialized treatment. Utilizing local, non-VA care options through PC3 can greatly improve access to care, especially in places like Central Alabama where demand exceeds the local facility's resources or personnel.

As a Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Rep. Roby pushed for and succeeded at including language within the Fiscal Year 2015 MilCon-VA Appropriations Committee Report directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to document the success and cost effectiveness of PC3 in order to establish the program as a viable alternative for more VA medical centers and more veteran patients.

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