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False Travel Reimbursement - Big Trouble


carlie

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  • HadIt.com Elder

they deserve whatever happens to them it's people like this that give us all bad names get what you deserve and every penny of it but the fraud is nothing more than pure greed and those doing it deserve every day in jail they get and I don't want to hear these guys cry because the govt recopus the amounts they stole from their VA benefits either.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The VA OIG is interested only in false travel claims submitted by veterans, etc. They, in writing (email) indicated that they were not interested in travel claim underpayment to veterans by the VA. Without going too deeply into details, the VA commonly uses a "computer program" to figure the mileage.

The program does not duplicate the actual mileage to the veterans home, as provided/mentioned in the law. Instead, it seems to be based upon a specific point inside the veteran's zip code. This can easily result in most often underpayment, or occasionally, overpayment. If a veteran must drive across his or her zip code, from one side to another, in route to a VA treating facility, the underpayment is maximized. Based upon figures I've run across, the VA computer program mileage closely matches the specific point within a zip code that is also displayed by the national weather service when you use the weather service website to obtain a forecast.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I think we can count on the VA continuing it's pursuit of travel pay criminals. Just a warning: The VA considers it theft if you carpool and each occupant claims mileage. You are required to either travel alone or pay for some type of travel in order to get travel pay. They may video record your entry when you drive on the VA property and could easily use facial recognition software to check on us. It's sad but we are now the enemy. jmo

.

Chuck75 is correct that the VA uses a zip code to zip code system to pay travel. It shorts me about $4.50 a trip.

pr

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If these vets did indeed commit fraud they should be sentenced harshly!

However, it is a travestry that the VA can indite Vets for Travel Pay fraud, but seem to be unable to bring charges against VA employees that have shreaded portions of veterans claim files.

I haven't seen any OIG investigations into C&P doctors that write false statements to medical files/C&P reports. I would point out these individuals need to be investigated, because they keep stating they have reviewed the medical records and claims file. If you look at the number of C&P's these people do, the size of the files, and the hours worked record of these employees, you know this is a false statement. Unless the legal standard for "review" is "I saw it on the desk next to the exam worksheet!"

My nickles worth (used to be 2 cents but inflation)

Best regards,

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If these vets did indeed commit fraud they should be sentenced harshly!

However, it is a travestry that the VA can indite Vets for Travel Pay fraud, but seem to be unable to bring charges against VA employees that have shreaded portions of veterans claim files.

I haven't seen any OIG investigations into C&P doctors that write false statements to medical files/C&P reports. I would point out these individuals need to be investigated, because they keep stating they have reviewed the medical records and claims file. If you look at the number of C&P's these people do, the size of the files, and the hours worked record of these employees, you know this is a false statement. Unless the legal standard for "review" is "I saw it on the desk next to the exam worksheet!"

My nickles worth (used to be 2 cents but inflation)

Best regards,

Sorry buddy - but that's 20 bucks worth.

Good post !

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  • In Memoriam

Just got back from VAMC Fayetteville, Arkansas. I stood in line for half an hour to get my $3.13, which is auto deposit. Fayetteville only has one pay master and the line was down the hall. You have to stand in line regardless of auto deposit.

I travel 60 miles round trip for $3.13. Phillip is right about the pay being postal zone to postal zone. It just happens that the VA is on the outer part of the postal zone and my house is on the other side of my postal zone.

I watched four people walk away from the line. I would have, but it is a matter of principal.

These guys, that got caught cheating, should be punished to the max for causing these problems for Veterans.

BTW, fasting labs no longer get a meal ticket. VAMC Fayetteville, Arkansas has changed that to a small can of orange juice.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Just got back from VAMC Fayetteville, Arkansas. I stood in line for half an hour to get my $3.13, which is auto deposit. Fayetteville only has one pay master and the line was down the hall. You have to stand in line regardless of auto deposit.

I travel 60 miles round trip for $3.13. Phillip is right about the pay being postal zone to postal zone. It just happens that the VA is on the outer part of the postal zone and my house is on the other side of my postal zone.

I watched four people walk away from the line. I would have, but it is a matter of principal.

These guys, that got caught cheating, should be punished to the max for causing these problems for Veterans.

BTW, fasting labs no longer get a meal ticket. VAMC Fayetteville, Arkansas has changed that to a small can of orange juice.

Stretch - why don't you skip the line waiting and mail in your claim, especially when it's only $3.13. Wait a minute, $3.13 for a 60 mile round trip??? If you have the time and don't need the $3.13 per trip, I would appeal the mileage all the way to the CAVC. You could win! jmo

pr

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I don't have any idea what your total mileage might be for the $4.50 shortage.

In my case, the shortage amounts to about 20%, since I live on the far side of my zip code.

For giggles - -

assume a 10% underpayment

My VAMC pays about 2.5 Million a year in mileage reimbursement, and it's a smaller VAMC located in a rural area.

$250 thousand shortfall

There are 152 or so VAMCS.

38 MILLION a year shortchanged veterans! And, that just might be conservative!

I think we can count on the VA continuing it's pursuit of travel pay criminals. Just a warning: The VA considers it theft if you carpool and each occupant claims mileage. You are required to either travel alone or pay for some type of travel in order to get travel pay. They may video record your entry when you drive on the VA property and could easily use facial recognition software to check on us. It's sad but we are now the enemy. jmo

.

Chuck75 is correct that the VA uses a zip code to zip code system to pay travel. It shorts me about $4.50 a trip.

pr

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What are the deductible amounts? Is the monthly deductible cap for each facility or is it for travel to all VA facilities for health care? Who is required to pay the deductible?

Public Law 110-387 required VA to reduce (and freeze) the deductible amounts to those originally specified in 38 U.S.C. § 111©(5). Therefore, effective January 9, 2009 the Beneficiary Travel deductible was reduced to $3.00 per one way trip; $6.00 for a round trip; with a maximum deductible of $18.00 per calendar month. The $18.00 is the total monthly deductible amount for travel to all VA facilities. Regardless of the deductible amount withheld per trip, deductible requirements end after 6 one-way (3 round) trips in a calendar month. Should a veteran be going to multiple VA facilities, and the veteran notes this when applying for Travel reimbursement, it is incumbent upon the facility providing the care and travel to contact any other VA facilities to determine if the deductible has been met.

The only exemptions to the deductible are:

Veterans traveling in conjunction with a C&P examination,

Non veteran donors,

Veterans requiring a special mode of transportation, and

when it is determined that the imposition of the deductible would cause a severe financial hardship (see “Waivers”)

All other eligible veterans, including those receiving care for service connected conditions, are required to have the deductible applied.

http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/BeneTravelFAQ.asp#deductible

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I went to Dallas VAMC today and listened to a couple of Veterans bragging about saying they lived with relatives that were a long way. I mentioned that VA was cracking down on that particular scam and they migh lose more than just a few hundred bucks.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I don't have any idea what your total mileage might be for the $4.50 shortage.

In my case, the shortage amounts to about 20%, since I live on the far side of my zip code.

For giggles - -

assume a 10% underpayment

My VAMC pays about 2.5 Million a year in mileage reimbursement, and it's a smaller VAMC located in a rural area.

$250 thousand shortfall

There are 152 or so VAMCS.

38 MILLION a year shortchanged veterans! And, that just might be conservative!

Chuck - my shortage is based on the fact that I live beyond the PO, which is the zip they use. I know why they do it and it makes sense. If I were in business and could get away w/it, I'd do it too. It makes good business sense and more bonuses for VA employees!

pr

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I went to Dallas VAMC today and listened to a couple of Veterans bragging about saying they lived with relatives that were a long way. I mentioned that VA was cracking down on that particular scam and they migh lose more than just a few hundred bucks.

Pete - my VA travel office knows there are vets doing this and will eventually catch them. The travel guys tells me there are guys getting another $2k+, just in travel, in fact using it like a part-time job. They'll lose in the end and could end up losing their comp. Pretty greedy & s t u p i d!! jmo

pr

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Of course it makes sense!

1. It takes less time to do a claim.

2. Employee accountability is reduced. ("The computer did it!")

3. 38 Million can pay a lot of "cost saving awards" and bonuses. This is obviously more important

than paying the correct amount to a veteran.

A minor issue is that the practice does not really comply with the law,

or the written statements by the VA concerning travel claim payment.

It's not a major time consumer to enter a veteran's address already on file,

and use any of the other VA approved methods to arrive at an accurate mileage,

instead of the inaccurate computer program currently used.

It really wouldn't take much effort, using an experienced and qualified programmer,

to setup a windows "script" that has the capability to return the "actual" mileage from

Mapquest, Google Maps, etc. The VA facility location is constant, and the veteran's data the variable.

Before I retired, I was an engineer, not an "Experienced Qualified code writing Programmer".

Chuck - my shortage is based on the fact that I live beyond the PO, which is the zip they use. I know why they do it and it makes sense. If I were in business and could get away w/it, I'd do it too. It makes good business sense and more bonuses for VA employees!

pr

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I went to Dallas VAMC today and listened to a couple of Veterans bragging about saying they lived with relatives that were a long way. I mentioned that VA was cracking down on that particular scam and they migh lose more than just a few hundred bucks.

I too go to this medical center. I hope you are still alive lol.

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