KUOW Newsroom

Audit finds Vets claims inappropriately denied by Veterans Health Administration

A new audit finds that the Veterans Health Administration is inappropriately denying claims for emergency care. The audit from the Office of Inspector General involves care at non-VA facilities.

The audit examined claims from all five VA regions and included Vancouver, Washington.

Veterans who seek emergency care outside of the VA can apply to be reimbursed.

Denied claims shift the financial burden to the veteran.

At the Vancouver, Washington, facility it was estimated that half of all claims were inappropriately processed, the second highest of all the regions.

In some cases those claims were inappropriately denied. Inspectors also found that when a veterans appealed follow up was slow, causing in some cases month’s long delays. Inspectors said nationwide thousands of veterans faced debts totaling $716 million .

The VA told inspectors that it has already made improvements. The OIG said it hasn’t verified the changes but did make 11 recommendations.