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Fixing The Va

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There's a lot of talk these days about fixing the VA. We have very talented people on Hadit and many know about the problems and issues with the VA, so let's start thinking about how to fix them. A Hadit think tank if you will.

When replying could we keep a format such as;

Issue: Slow processing of claims.

Fix: Hire and train more raters.

Cheers

Paul

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  • HadIt.com Elder

ISSUE: Bonus Compensation for Raters who handle claims quickly, but not necessarily appropriately.

FIX: Only apply the Bonus Compensation for claims that are solved correctly. (ie: never appealed, never over turned, etc)

Edited by SouthernBelle
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Issues: VA internal problems with claims processing and misorganization.

Solution: Set up a training center for VA employees to attend and have them pass a profficiency test before they start to work. Also require the Veteran Service officers from all Organizations to do the dame at their own expense. Give all graduates a certificate and set the standards high.

Set up field offices to outreach Vets to help them develop claims. Employ folks at the Records centers and have them control the record movement to and From the VA Regional Offices. Last but not least, Hire Veterans or spouses of veterans as preference.

J

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ISSUE: Bonus Compensation for Raters who handle claims quickly, but not necessarily appropriately.

FIX: Only apply the Bonus Compensation for claims that are solved correctly. (ie: never appealed, never over turned, etc)

Belle, good issue.

my fix would be to do away with the bonuses altogether. B)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The bonus system isn't a bad idea, when working under the theory that they are not just doing the job, but doing the job RIGHT. I think that raters that do the job correctly the first time save the VA billions! Why shouldn't they be compensated for saving so much money? That's why I think the bonus system isn't bad, but there needs to be strict guidelines for how to award the bonuses. Perhaps at retirement? That would be a good way for them to KEEP good employees for the long haul, and it would be incentive for the employees to not only STAY, but to do a good job.

Belle, good issue.

my fix would be to do away with the bonuses altogether. B)

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ISSUE: Bonus Compensation for Raters who handle claims quickly, but not necessarily appropriately.

FIX: Only apply the Bonus Compensation for claims that are solved correctly. (ie: never appealed, never over turned, etc)

Being that I worked at my local VARO (2002-03) I won't 'claim' (no pun intended) that I'm an EXPERT, however it is NOT individuals who are awarded "QUOTA BONUS'", but it's based on RO -vs- RO.

Case in Point:

Why did I receive a Bonus, when I was out for two months on convalescence?

When I saw my check, I had thought that there was an error? When I questioned this to my supervisor, I was told "It's because I was part of the Team."

Now, if it was based on individualism, I should not have gotten this.

NO S-B...People in the private industry don't receive any Quota bonus' per quarter like the gov't dishes it out, why should our tax dollars go to people that aren't even there?

Adjudicators in ALL dept.'s should show that they are on the side of the Veteran...NOT base their decisions on how complex a claim is, and their managers forcing them to resolve so many claims within so much time.

A ONE page claim will get resolved within several months, because it isn't requiring research, but if you understand the Human Mind, when a(n) adjudicator sees a multi paged claim come across his/her desk, they look at it (scan it), pick and choose items (negative ones), and DENY it.

WHY???

Because in the forefront of their mind(s), they're thinking of management and not being written up, AND their bonus.

So, with THAT mindset, the Veteran is forced (unfairly) into an APPEAL MODE!

Now, I understand what you are saying under "FIX", but consider that if THAT was the case, then even fictitious claims would be resolved, and again, understanding the Human Mind, this will present a whole slew of problems...

eg: The Veteran who has no legs at 90% -vs- a Veteran @ 100% who jogs in the park.

Not ALL Veterans are honest with their conditions, and will exaggerate their conditions to collect gov't. entitlements.

I know that this is a ridiculous example, but again think of the Human Mind, and the adjudicator being paid for resolving claims with the dollar bill planted in the forefront of his/her mind.

The Bottom Line...

The quota Bonus MUST be eliminated altogether! PERIOD.

It promotes GREED, and it takes away from the overall problem...The Vet in need of Gov't assistance, for Bona Fide physical problems or Secondarys to S/C, which incurred primarily in service to his/her country.

Second problem, (and I wrote elected officials in 2002 about this to), is that the RO's MUST GO PAPERLESS, to Free Up real estate, so that they can hire and train new employees!

When I was at my local RO, there were so many folders EVERYWHERE, that I was surprised that the building didn't collapse from paper weight! I saw so many folders that tables were bent from the load!

File cabinets are jam packed full, to a point where you can rip the file apart trying to pull it out. Every row had folders stacked on top. Some of your files were used as bookends to hold a row.

There are a lot of folders located in cubicles awaiting mail from Veterans or medical reports from clinics. Finding these was a nightmare, when a Vet sends in mail in support of his/her claim.

A large group of people did not utilize the locating software "COVERS"! This is a "Check In" software when someone possesses your file.

Third, the DVA MUST establish a "Second 'Split' Shift" to catch up on claims which are 5+ years old.

Fourth, the DVA MUST condone these stupid "Pot Lucks/Retirement & Union sponsoring Parties"! This isn't grade school. If these must be held, hold these stupid parties AFTER HOURS! Holding these stupid parties during business hours is a Gross waste of taxpayer Funds, and it takes away from resolving YOUR claims in a timely manner!

Fifth...Gays in the Military...Your thoughts? hahahaha :P

(just a break in the monotony...)

Sixth...What is the condom over the rifle barrel used for? (see "Fifth"! (hahaha...gotcha again!) B)

So, you see, there's a lot of problems with the DVA. I bet that I haven't even touched on a lot of others.

What I would suggest the gov't. do to fix the DVA, is to place groups of people from Government THINK-TANKS into several VARO's for several months, so that they can see and witness the problems.

Management from Directors on down should not be aware of their presence, because then, it wouldn't be a "Natural Environment".

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Great point SouthernBelle!

Award the raters for doing their job correctly, and not award them for the number of cases cleared. The big problem is when you give management HUGE bonuses for their employees' work. They make a lot of money if they can show their bosses in Washington their office closes a lot of cases. They push their employees for quantity instead of quality.

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