Search Results

A Collective Case Study of Veterans Inside an Arts and Crafts Room and their Perceptions Regarding Empowerment

Description: This presentation is part of the faculty lecture series UNT Speaks Out on Coming Home. The author discusses methods and findings from a project she participated in related to how veterans narrated their experiences through art. Her component of the study evaluated participants and described what they gained through creating arts and crafts.
Date: November 15, 2012
Creator: Hasio, Cindy
Item Type: Presentation
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

Information Technology: VA and DOD Are Making Progress in Sharing Medical Information, but Remain Far from Having Comprehensive Electronic Medical Records

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) are engaged in ongoing efforts to share medical information, which is important in helping to ensure high-quality health care for active-duty military personnel and veterans. These efforts include a long-term program to develop modernized health information systems based on computable data: that is, data in a format that a computer application can act on--for example, to provide alerts to clinicians of drug allergies. In addition, the departments are engaged in short-term initiatives involving existing systems. GAO was asked to summarize its recent testimony on the history and current status of these long- and short-term efforts to share health information. To develop that testimony, GAO reviewed its previous work, analyzed documents, and interviewed VA and DOD officials about current status and future plans."
Date: July 18, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Veterans' Reemployment Rights: Steps Needed to Ensure Reliability of DOL and Special Counsel Demonstration Project's Performance Information

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In the wake of the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of current and former military servicemembers are undergoing a transition between their military service and their civilian employment. Congress enacted the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) to protect the employment and reemployment rights of federal and nonfederal employees when they leave their employment to perform military or other uniformed service. Among other rights, servicemembers who meet the statutory requirements are entitled to reinstatement to the positions they would have held if they had never left their employment or to positions of like seniority, status, and pay. USERRA applies to a wide range of employers, including federal, state, and local governments as well as private-sector firms. This report focuses on federal executive agencies. Under USERRA, an employee who believes that his or her USERRA rights have been violated may file a claim with the Department of Labor's (DOL) Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), which investigates and attempts to resolve the claim. If DOL's VETS cannot resolve the claim and the servicemember is a federal government employee or applicant to a federal agency, DOL is to inform the claimant of the right to have his or her claim referred to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) for further review and possible OSC representation before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Under a demonstration project established by the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004 (VBIA), from February 8, 2005, through December 31, 2007, OSC was authorized to receive and investigate certain USERRA claims, with DOL continuing its investigative role for others. In 2007, we evaluated the demonstration project and reported to Congress that while both DOL and OSC had policies and procedures for ...
Date: June 10, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Homeless Veterans Programs: Bed Capacity, Service, and Communication Gaps Challenge the Grant and Per Diem Program

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs asked GAO to discuss its recent work on the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program. GAO reported on this subject in September 2006, focusing on (1) VA's estimates of the number of homeless veterans and transitional housing beds, (2) the extent of collaboration involved in the provision of GPD and related services, and (3) VA's assessment of program performance."
Date: September 27, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

VA Health Care: Preliminary Findings on VA's Provision of Health Care Services to Women Veterans

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Historically, the vast majority of VA patients have been men, but that is changing. VA provided health care to over 281,000 women veterans in 2008--an increase of about 12 percent since 2006--and the number of women veterans in the United States is projected to increase by 17 percent between 2008 and 2033. Women veterans seeking care at VA medical facilities need access to a full range of health care services, including basic gender-specific services--such as cervical cancer screening--and specialized gender-specific services--such as treatment of reproductive cancers. This testimony, based on ongoing work, discusses GAO's preliminary findings on (1) the on-site availability of health care services for women veterans at VA facilities, (2) the extent to which VA facilities are following VA policies that apply to the delivery of health care services for women veterans, and (3) key challenges that VA facilities are experiencing in providing health care services for women veterans. GAO reviewed applicable VA policies, interviewed officials, and visited 19 medical facilities--9 VA medical centers (VAMC) and 10 community-based outpatient clinics (CBOC)--and 8 Vet Centers. These facilities were chosen based in part on the number of women using services and whether facilities offered specific programs for women. The results from these site visits cannot be generalized to all VA facilities. GAO shared this statement with VA officials, and they generally agreed with the information presented."
Date: July 14, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

VA Medical Centers: Further Operational Improvements Could Enhance Third-Party Collections

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In the face of growing demand for veterans' health care, GAO and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG) have raised concerns about the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) ability to maximize its third-party collections to supplement its medical care appropriation. GAO has testified that inadequate patient intake procedures, insufficient documentation by physicians, a shortage of qualified billing coders, and insufficient automation diminished VA's collections. In turn, the OIG reported that VA missed opportunities to bill, had billing backlogs, and did inadequate follow-up on bills. While VA has made improvements in these areas, GAO was asked to review internal control activities over third-party billings and collections at selected medical centers to assess whether they were designed and implemented effectively."
Date: July 19, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Veterans' Employment and Training Service: Labor Could Improve Information on Reemployment Services, Outcomes, and Program Impact

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2002, Congress enacted the Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA), which modified two Department of Labor (Labor) programs that specifically target veteran job seekers: the Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) and the Local Veterans' Employment Representative (LVER) program. However, questions have been raised about the adequacy of performance information on services to veterans by these and other employment programs. In this report, GAO examined (1) the extent to which DVOP and LVER performance information reflects services and outcomes for veterans; (2) the extent to which performance information on veterans paints a clear picture of their use of one-stop services; and (3) what Labor is doing to improve the quality of performance data and better understand program impact and outcomes for veterans."
Date: May 24, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Department of Veterans Affairs: Issues Related to Real Property Realignment and Future Health Care Costs

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses lifetime costs of supporting the newest generation of veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates one of the largest health care delivery systems in the nation, providing care to a diverse population of veterans. VA operates about 150 hospitals, 130 nursing homes, and 820 outpatient clinics through 21 regional health care networks called Veterans Integrated Service Networks. VA is responsible for providing health care services to various populations--including an aging veteran population and a growing number of younger veterans returning from the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Budgeting for this vital health care mission is inherently complex. It is based on current assumptions and imperfect information, not only about program needs, but also on future economic and policy actions that may affect demand and the cost of providing these services. Adding to this complexity, VA has recognized over the years the need to plan and budget for facility modernization, and realign its real property portfolio to provide accessible, high-quality, and cost-effective access to its services. The statement today addresses VA's real property realignment efforts and VA's approach to developing budget estimates for health care. It is based on our prior real property realignment work, where we examined the extent to which VA's capital planning efforts resulted in changes to its real property portfolio, helped VA identify facility planning priorities, and reflected leading federal practices for real property management. It is also based on our prior budget estimate work, where we examined how VA develops its health care budget estimate, addressed what VA identified as the key changes that were made to its budget estimate to develop the President's budget request for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, and explained how various sources of funding ...
Date: July 27, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Veterans' Disability Benefits: Processing of Claims Continues to Present Challenges

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, House Veterans' Affairs Committee, asked GAO to discuss its recent work related to the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) disability claims and appeals processing. GAO has reported and testified on this subject on numerous occasions. GAO's work has addressed VA's efforts to improve the timeliness of decisions on claims and appeals and VA's efforts to reduce backlogs."
Date: March 13, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agent Orange: Actions Needed to Improve Communications of Air Force Ranch Hand Study Data and Results

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the conduct and findings of the Air Force's Ranch Hand study on the long-term health effects of exposure to herbicides, such as Agent Orange, in Vietnam, and assessed the study's impact on determinations of veterans' compensation, focusing on: (1) whether the study's findings and data have been properly and promptly reported and disseminated; (2) the statistical limitations of the study and whether they have been adequately reported and communicated; (3) the measures established to monitor the study's conduct and to prevent improper influence, particularly those involving the Ranch Hand Study's Advisory Committee; and (4) the impact of the study on determinations of diseases for which Vietnam veterans are eligible to receive compensation benefits."
Date: December 17, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gulf War Illnesses: Management Actions Needed to Answer Basic Research Questions

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on management actions needed to answer basic research questions about Gulf War Illnesses, focusing on the: (1) amount of money the Departments of Veterans' Affairs (VA), Defense (D0D), and Health and Human Services (HHS) spent on research and investigation of Gulf War veterans' illnesses and health concerns in the fiscal years 1997 and 1998, including current and projected spending by the Office of the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses; (2) productivity of this research spending, including the extent to which the Coordinating Board has determined that federal research objectives have been satisfied, and the extent to which the research has resulted in peer-reviewed publications and the identification of the causes or successful treatments for Gulf War veterans' illnesses; (3) extent of coordination between the Research Working Group of the Coordinating Board and the Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses; and (4) Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses' contract management."
Date: January 6, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Veterans' Reemployment Rights: Department of Labor and Office of Special Counsel Need to Take Additional Steps to Ensure Demonstration Project Data Integrity

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "DOL and OSC began the USERRA demonstration project on August 9, 2011, meeting the time frame (within 60 days of our report on the project's design) required by the VBA. From August 9, 2011, to May 9, 2012, DOL has received 87 USERRA demonstration project cases and OSC has received 123 cases. The data reported in this study cover only 9 months of the demonstration project and do not represent the overall results of the 36-month project nor are we drawing any conclusions of the relative performance at either agency. As both agencies continue to collect and track data, we will be able to provide an in-depth evaluation of relative performance. We did not report customer satisfaction survey data in this assessment due to the short amount of time the survey has been available to claimants and the low survey response rate. Also, while both agencies track time spent on cases on an ongoing basis, OSC only compiles cost data on those cases that have been closed while DOL compiles cost data on open and closed cases. Therefore, we plan to evaluate and compare the relative cost data during later assessments of the demonstration project."
Date: September 10, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Vocational Rehabilitation: More VA and DOD Collaboration Needed to Expedite Services for Seriously Injured Servicemembers

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "More than 10,000 U.S. military servicemembers, including National Guard and Reserve members, have been injured in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those with serious injuries are likely to be discharged from the military and return to civilian life with disabilities. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers vocational rehabilitation and employment (VR&E) services to help these injured servicemembers in their transition to civilian employment. GAO has noted that early intervention--the provision of rehabilitation services as soon as possible after the onset of a disability--is a practice that significantly facilitates the return to work. GAO examined how VA expedites VR&E services to seriously injured servicemembers and the challenges VA faces in its efforts to do so."
Date: January 14, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

VA Health Care: Patient Safety Could be Enhanced by Improvements in Employment Screening and Physician Privileging Practices

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In its March 2004 report, "VA Health Care: Improved Screening of Practitioners Would Reduce Risk to Veterans," GAO-04-566, GAO made recommendations to improve VA's employment screening of practitioners. GAO was asked to testify today on steps VA has taken to improve its employment screening requirements and VA's physician credentialing and privileging processes because of their importance to patient safety. This testimony is based on two GAO reports released today that determined the extent to which (1) VA has taken steps to improve employment screening for practitioners by implementing GAO's 2004 recommendations, (2) VA facilities are in compliance with selected credentialing and privileging requirements for physicians, and (3) VA has internal controls to help ensure the accuracy of privileging information."
Date: June 15, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Further Action Needed to Improve Veterans Affairs Acquisition Function

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is among the largest federal acquisition agencies, spending $7.3 billion on product and service acquisitions in 2004 alone. Recent reports by VA and other organizations identified weaknesses in the agency's acquisition function that could result in excess costs to the taxpayer. One report by the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) made 24 recommendations to improve VA's acquisition function. VA has accepted these recommendations. GAO was asked to review the progress VA has made in implementing the key NAVSUP recommendations. GAO identified 7 of the 24 recommendations as key, based primarily on its professional judgment and prior experience."
Date: October 19, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Implementation of a Therapy Group for Wives of Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Development and Preliminary Outcomes

Description: The purpose of this study was to develop a manualized therapy group for wives or significant others of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing wives' psychological symptoms. A second aim of the study was to determine if women's involvement in the wives group resulted in decreases in their husbands' PTSD symptoms. Women recruited for the study were administered pre-test measures during a screening session. They then participated in a 9-session manualized therapy group designed by the researcher that included psychoeducational, process, and support components. Examples of group topics included psychoeducation regarding PTSD, assertiveness and communication, intimacy, self-care, and stress management. After completing the group sessions, participants were asked to complete post-test measures. Other factors explored in this study included marital satisfaction, perceived social support, general satisfaction with the group, and demographic variables. Results indicated that wives who participated in the group treatment exhibited significant decreases in secondary stress symptoms and increases in marital satisfaction from pre-test to post-test. The majority of participants also reported high levels of satisfaction with the group process. Therefore, it appears that the group protocol presented in this study could be a useful tool in the treatment of wives of veterans with PTSD. The results of this study have potential implications regarding the clinical treatment of families of veterans with PTSD and the development of future programs within the VA system.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Reck-Gordy, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

VA Construction: Additional Actions Needed to Decrease Delays and Lower Costs of Major Medical-Facility Projects

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Costs substantially increased and schedules were delayed for Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) largest medical-center construction projects in Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Orlando, Florida. As of November 2012, the cost increases for these projects ranged from 59 percent to 144 percent, with a total cost increase of nearly $1.5 billion and an average increase of approximately $366 million. The delays for these projects range from 14 to 74 months, resulting in an average delay of 35 months per project. In commenting on a draft of this report, VA contends that using the initial completion date from the construction contract would be more accurate than using the initial completion date provided to Congress; however, using this date would not account for how VA managed these projects prior to the award of the construction contract. Several factors, including changes to veterans' health care needs and site-acquisition issues contributed to increased costs and schedule delays at these sites."
Date: April 4, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electronic Government: Smart Card Usage is Advancing Among Federal Agencies, Including the Department of Veterans Affairs

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government is interested in the use of smart cards--credit card-like devices that use integrated circuit chips to store and process data--for improving the security of its many physical and information assets. Besides providing better authentication of the identities of people accessing buildings and computer systems, smart cards offer a number of other potential benefits and uses, such as creating electronic passenger lists for deploying military personnel and tracking immunization and other medical records. Over the past 2 years, GAO has studied and reported on the uses of smart cards across the federal government. Congress requested that GAO testify on federal agencies' efforts in adopting smart card technology--based on the results of this prior work--and on the specific actions that the Department of Veterans Affairs is taking to implement smart card technology."
Date: October 6, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Veterans Affairs: Progress Made in Centralizing Information Technology Management, but Challenges Persist

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) depends on information technology (IT) to effectively serve our nation's veterans, with an IT budget of about $1 billion annually. However, it has encountered numerous challenges in managing its IT programs and initiatives. To address these challenges, VA is realigning its IT organization and management to a centralized model founded on a defined set of improved management processes. Begun in October 2005, the realignment is planned to be complete by July 2008. In this testimony, GAO discusses its recent reporting on VA's realignment effort and its management of other IT programs and initiatives, including ongoing systems development efforts and work to share electronic health information with the Department of Defense (DOD). To prepare this testimony, GAO reviewed its past work in these areas."
Date: September 19, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Computer-Based Patient Records: Improved Planning and Project Management Are Critical to Achieving Two-Way VA-DOD Health Data Exchange

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Providing readily accessible health information on veterans and active duty military personnel is highly essential to ensuring that these individuals are given quality health care and assistance in adjudicating disability claims. Moreover, ready access to health information is consistent with the President's recently announced intention to provide electronic health records for most Americans within 10 years. In an attempt to improve the sharing of health information, the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DOD) have been working, since 1998, toward the ability to exchange electronic health records for use by veterans, military personnel, and their health care providers. In testimony before Congress last November and again this past March, GAO discussed the progress being made by the departments in this endeavor. While a measure of success has been achieved--the one-way transfer of health data from DOD to VA health care facilities--identifying the technical solution for a two-way exchange, as part of a longer term HealthePeople (Federal) initiative, has proven elusive. At Congress's request, GAO reported on its continuing review of the departments' progress toward this goal of an electronic two-way exchange of patient health records."
Date: May 19, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

VA Real Property: VA Emphasizes Enhanced-Use Leases to Manage Its Real Property Portfolio

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is one of the largest federal land-holding agencies and operates one of the largest health care-related real estate portfolios in the nation. However, many of VA's facilities were built more than 50 years ago and are underutilized or unutilized. Congress has provided VA with certain authorities, such as enhanced-use lease (EUL) authority, enabling the agency to lease or dispose of these properties. This statement focuses on (1) VA's authority to enter into EULs, (2) how VA has used its EUL authority, and (3) the relationship between VA's authorities and the amount of real property that is retained or sold. This statement is based on GAO's February 2009 report on federal agencies' authorities and actions regarding EULs and sale of unneeded real property (GAO-09-283R). To prepare that report, GAO analyzed the authorities and actions of the 10 largest federal land-holding agencies, including VA, to enter into EULs and sell unneeded real property. GAO reviewed VA's legal authorities related to EULs, the sale of real property, and retention of proceeds from EULs and sales; collected data on VA's use of EULs; and visited a property that VA is leasing under an EUL."
Date: June 10, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department