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VA kept thousands of veterans' appeals in boxes, file cabinets instead of processing them, report shows,
When a veteran receives care at a non-VA hospital, the veteran or their healthcare provider can file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs to be reimbursed for the cost of that care.
But if claims processors in the Veterans Health Administration Office of Community Care inappropriately deny, or fail to process those claims or subsequent appeals, veterans can be left with financial burdens, including debt.
An audit of the VHA Community Care Office showed that some of its facilities lacked any staff to process appeals and rather than sending them to another office that could, staff let them sit in boxes, file cabinets, cubicles and mailrooms unanswered -- some more than five years old. And leaders said they didn't know.
that modernization, including developing and implementing all the required procedures for the required new appeals process and did not have the staff to process the appeals.