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Article about Veterans

Veterans are an essential part of this nation due to their sacrifices that attained the peace and stability skilled by the current generation. However, the present situation of many veterans is very pathetic. Most of them suffer from medical conditions related with age or negative experiences in their respective professional fields. The Veterans Department is a national corporation with the responsibility of addressing the affairs of the veterans such as medical attention, compensations for injuries sustained whilst on duty and provision of life insurance amongst others. However, the United States has over thirty thousand homeless veterans who suffer from drug abuse and financial constraints. The veterans department wants an upgrade on addressing the issues of the veterans for better services through the upgrading of the guidelines used in reporting the veteran’s cases as well as an elimination of inconsistencies in the provision of services to the veterans.

Rating Inconsistencies and Guidelines Issues

The veterans department is inconsistent in rating the claims by veterans suffering from the same conditions in different parts of the country. The 57 regional offices dealing with the rating of the veterans present different ratings for the veterans despite the similarity of the conditions from which they suffer (Cozza, Goldenberg & Ursano, 2014). Ratings are essential for the veterans since they determine the compensation that the veterans receive from the government. The inconsistencies between various regions indicate discrimination of the officers. When two officers receive a different compensation for the same condition, their level of motivation reduces. Similarly, the officers lead different lives due to the difference in compensation, which determines the kind of life affordable to them. Removal of the inconsistency will go a long way towards compensating the veterans correctly and improving their lives as their colleagues in other parts of the country.

The discrepancy arises from the different boards responsible for rating the veterans in the various regions. The various boards interpret information differently especially concerning psychological issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While some areas consider the condition broadly, other regions categorize all the conditions in general. The varied interpretations of the conditions lead to different ratings leading to inconsistencies in compensation and diagnosis. The risk associated with poor diagnosis leads to barriers in accessing the adequate medical attention. Over 15% of veterans risk suffering from PTSD depending on the intensity of action in their regions of deployment. Therefore, the veterans department needs to eliminate the inconsistencies in medical diagnosis, the rating of the injuries sustained by the veterans as well as the inconsistencies in compensation. The removal will help the veterans in accessing better treatment and lead better lives.

The Government Accountability Office expresses concern on the guidelines used in reporting and storing information at the veterans’ office. One of the major concerns is storage of information. The medical records for the veterans do not reflect the situation on the ground. In the coding of information, the medical practitioners fail to code the correct information such as the condition of the veteran as well as the frequency of the condition. Doctors end up coding the wrong diagnosis presenting the false information to the department. The guidelines used in recording the information leads to many errors in the system. The department needs an updated system that can help the doctors in coding the right information with minimal mistakes. The errors in recording the information are directly responsible for the inconsistencies in the field (Rosner, 2014).

The veterans department requires the doctors to use a standardized tool in assessing the condition of the veterans. However, the doctors overlook this important principle in evaluating the patients. In addition, the veterans department needs to teach the patients how to take their particular medication for faster recovery. However, an investigation by the Government Accountability office unearthed that the staff did not adhere to those guidelines. Lack of proper education for the veterans is a significant threat to their health since they fail to recover from their medical conditions rising further deterioration of the situation (Liang et al., 2013). The veterans department needs to upgrade the collection of data from the veterans by making it mandatory for the doctors to adhere to every law and policy connected with the well-being of the veterans. Poor adherence to the policies in place leads to drug addiction by the veterans to eliminate the medical conditions such as the stress experienced.

The reporting guidelines play a part in further development of inconsistencies in the department. In cases of assessing the veterans, the doctors interview the veterans directly. However, some cases of depression are extreme making the veterans forget some information that might be critical to their treatment. The reporting guidelines require an upgrade to ensure that the doctors collect all the relevant information from the patient. For example, the collection of information might be in the form of groups who served in the same mission as well as the people living with the veteran. In such as case, the medical assessors will be able to capture more information leading to better treatment of the veterans. Upgrading the guidelines as well as a strict implementation of the current policies will lead to accurate assessment, elimination of inconsistencies as well as accurate records in the veterans department.

However, the deteriorating conditions lived by some of the veterans are not due to differences in treatment or inadequate guidelines in reporting of their cases. Some of the veterans fail to seek medical attention for their conditions. In such cases, it becomes hard for the veterans department to record the progress made by the veterans towards recovery (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2005, p. 67). Veterans collect their compensation, and due to poor financial decisions, they spend the money leaving them in a poor financial state. Therefore, the veterans have a role to play in improving the efficiency of the veterans department. It is impossible for the staff to keep track of all veterans without their active participation in pushing for efficiency in the department. The collaborative effort of the government, the department, and the veterans will improve the situation in the agency through an elimination of the inconsistencies.

Inconsistencies in the veterans department originate from different diagnosis methods, which lead to inaccurate ratings for the veterans. The ratings determine the amount of compensation offered by the government to the veterans. Further inconsistencies stem up from the guidelines in place for reporting veterans’ issues as well as the records stored by the medical department concerning the patients. Further, the doctors fail to observe the policies in place leading to increased inconsistencies. Therefore, rectification of the situation requires improvement of the guidelines and a strict enactment of the policies in place. Such changes will result in better services for the veterans and an elimination of the current inconsistencies. However, the veterans should also take an active step towards pushing for better services from the department by seeking treatment and providing accurate information to the department.

References

Cozza, S., Goldenberg, M. & Ursano, R. (2014). Care of military service members, veterans, and their families. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, a division of American Psychiatric Association.

Department of Veterans Affairs. (2005). Review of State Variances in VA Disability Compensation Payments. Retrieved from Office of Inspector General website: https://www.va.gov/oig/52/reports/2005/VAOIG-05-00765-137.pdf

Liang, C. Y., Wang, K. Y., Hwang, S. J., Lin, K. C., & Pan, H. H. (2013). Factors affecting the physician–patient relationship of older veterans with inadequate health literacy: an observational study. Br J Gen Pract, 63(610), e354-e360.

Rosner, C. (2014). GAO Report: VA Provides Inconsistent Treatment To Veterans With Depression - Hartford Courant. Retrieved from http://www.courant.com/health/hc-veterans-health-20141218-story.html

July 24, 2021

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