Veterans Affairs

A newly released database shows that Leavenworth County, Kansas, had one of the highest concentrations of opioid pills per person in the United States between 2006 and 2012.

While those numbers might suggest a hidden calamity in eastern Kansas, the vast majority of those pills were actually processed by a Veteran’s Administration fullfillment center, rather than distributed locally, according to the data.

Veterans Health

Almost 1,000 veterans in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois were denied care at non-VA facilities because their wait times were incorrectly reported, an audit released last week concludes.

The report, by the Office of Inspector General for the Veterans Health Administration, found that 18 percent of appointments for new patients at VA facilities in the three states had wait times longer than 30 days. The facilities' own electronic scheduling systems, however, showed only 10 percent had wait times of more than 30 days.

KCUR

A torrent of civil lawsuits over alleged sexual abuse by a former employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Leavenworth is expected now that a federal judge has refused to dismiss one of the cases.

Three more lawsuits were filed this week in federal court, bringing the total to 15 so far, and dozens more are expected to be filed in coming months.

The suits by military veterans accuse Mark E. Wisner, a one-time physician’s assistant at the hospital who held himself out as a doctor, of sexually molesting them during physical exams.

wichita.va.gov

A government review shows a Veterans Affairs regional office in Kansas listed erroneous medical conditions for three dozen patients who filed appeals after having their claims rejected.

In a report released Tuesday, the VA's inspector general's office says management instructed staff at the Wichita facility to enter the same "placeholder" diagnostic code for a specific bone infection on 36 appeal claims. None of the patients had the listed condition.

Flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas agency says its workers are locked out of a computer program, delaying them from processing veterans' claims through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs uses a computer program that allows them to process hundreds of claims each month and send them to the VA's regional office in Wichita.

But commission workers have been locked out of the program lately. Without the program, the claims have to be faxed or mailed, which can take weeks.

wichita.va.gov

The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center is hosting a town hall next week that aims to get feedback from veterans and their families.

The event is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24 in the facility's auditorium. The agency VA's regional office in Wichita also will be holding a benefits claim clinic from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Jeffrey Beall, flickr Creative Commons

A religious liberty group is now threatening to sue over the ongoing Native American sweat lodge dispute at the VA hospital in Wichita.

The Liberty Institute sent another letter Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs alleging discrimination against Native American religious practices of veterans at the Robert J. Dole Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The sweat lodge's spiritual leader, who is a substance-abuse counselor at the center, has been indefinitely suspended. Members of the sweat lodge have been unable to meet for religious worship there without him.

Senate Approves Bill To Clarify Veterans Choice Act

May 27, 2015
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Senate has approved bi-partisan legislation to clarify the circumstances under which veterans are allowed to get medical care from their hometown providers at the VA’s expense. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more…