Montana Veterans Share VA Experiences with Congressman - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Montana Veterans Share VA Experiences with Congressman

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Forty veterans dead, thousands more waiting for health care only to find out their claims have been denied. Ongoing issues with the Department of Veterans Affairs have raised calls for national reform, and Montana's lawmakers are now looking to vets in the Big Sky state clinics to find out what changes they would like to see.

Congressman Steve Daines held listening sessions Friday in Missoula and Helena with more than a dozen veterans and representatives of veterans services.

These Montana vets shared stories of long wait times, mismanaged cases, and six-figure medical bills they face from clinics in Montana and around the country. They say it's time for change.

Many of the veterans say the national issues are shocking, but not surprising as many of them have experienced delays in their own treatment.

Recently, Daines joined the House in passing a bill that would address these widespread problems and hold senior executives responsible.

"We're finding out now that these clinics covered up delays that ultimately led to the preventable deaths of at least 40 veterans. Yet the VA executives of these facilities are more likely to be given a bonus than to be reprimanded," Daines said.

"We believe this is disgraceful and I stand with the millions of Americans who are demanding accountability from the VA."

The Dept. of Veterans Affairs Management accountability act stalled in the Senate.

In March, the Inspector General reviewed seven operational activities at the VA hospital in Fort Harrison.

Areas that were inspected included: quality management, medication management, and nurse staffing.

The IG made recommendations of changes revolving around more documentation and making procedures more effective.
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