VA Inspector General: 307K Veterans Died Waiting for Health Care

The Inspector General’s report is out on the failure of the Veterans Affairs Department and it is NOT pretty. The report says 307K veterans with pending health care requests died while waiting for care. That’s 35% of all health care requests as of September 2014. There is a caveat to the 307K pending requests (emphasis mine).

However, due to data limitations, we could not determine specifically how many pending E [nrollment] S [ystem] records represent veterans who applied for health care benefits. These conditions occurred because the enrollment program did not effectively define, collect, and manage enrollment data. In addition, VHA lacked adequate procedures to identify date of death information and implement necessary updates to the individual’s status. Unless VHA officials establish effective procedures to identify deceased individuals and accurately update their status, ES will continue to provide unreliable information on the status of applications for veterans seeking enrollment in the VA health care system.

So basically the procedures are screwed up and completely useless. This is just horrific in the most awful way possible. The VA system is damned further when the IG gets into unprocessed applications (emphasis mine).