Report: VA wrongfully denied $53 million in veterans' emergency care claims

by Nikki Wentling
Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs wrongfully rejected thousands of emergency-care claims during a five-month period, sticking an “undue financial burden” worth millions of dollars on some veterans, a federal watchdog agency reported Tuesday.

The VA Office of Inspector General released findings that VA supervisors pressured staff to quickly decide claims and some staff members said they were encouraged to deny claims to maximize productivity. The culture, which “created systemic pressure to favor speed over accuracy,” led to staff incorrectly rejecting 31% of veterans’ emergency care claims from April 1 to Sept. 30, 2017.

The errors affected an estimated 17,400 veterans who were stuck with a total $53.3 million in medical bills that the VA should have paid, the IG reported.

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