Some veterans who may be considered homebound are suddenly finding themselves unable to continue relying on the home care services they had been receiving from certain agencies. That’s because, according to these professional home care providers, the VA has not been paying its bills for these services.
The owners of Right at Home, Janet and Rich Sullivan, claim that the VA has not paid almost $60,000 in bills dating to last year. That means they can no longer continue providing these invaluable services to veterans who qualify for financial support through the federal agency.
It’s not the first time the VA has been highlighted as a dysfunctional agency. It has been noted in recent years of the tremendous issues VA hospitals have been facing in dealing with patients, providing care, and support.
However, unfortunately veterans who need home care support and qualify for financial assistance through the VA are the ones who suffer for this lack of oversight at the VA and its ability to pay bills on time.
According to the Boston Globe news article, Home-health provider cuts off services to veterans when the VA fails to pay its bills, written by Brian MacQuarrie:
“The sprawling agency, the second-largest in the federal government, has faced repeated criticism for delayed payments to contracted companies and individuals. The concerns raised by the Sullivans — no answers to questions, long waits on hold, confusion even among VA officials about the agency’s payment system — have been voiced by a wide range of critics from veterans to lawmakers.
“This story of health care givers dropping out because the VA doesn’t pay its bills is common,” said Anthony Hardie, director of Veterans for Common Sense, a national advocacy group. “It’s hard to fault the company. It seems like there’s more interest in shuffling deck chairs at the VA than ensuring that the health care needs of these 16 veterans are met.””
Being that this is not the first time home care agencies and independent caregivers have dropped out of providing services to veterans who qualify for Aid and Attendance or Homebound pension benefits, it’s an unfortunate circumstance that needs to be highlighted so that the VA might be pushed to pay these bills on time so these veterans can continue receiving the necessary care and assistance at home they require.
An elderly or disabled veteran who is unable to receive home care when needed is being placed at unnecessary risk for not only their safety, but will also have fewer options available to them that allow these dedicated men and women to remain where they are most comfortable, at home.