Channel 2 News (Atlanta) reports that previously removed VA leader Bonita Miller has now been hired as a VA Regional Manager (Deputy Director), a possible promotion from her former position at the Health Eligibility Center (HEC). The HEC was previously a central figure in the data manipulation scandal that swept through VA from its discovery by the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee in 2012 due in large part to whistleblowers.
In a 2015 VA Inspector General report, the Health Eligibility Center (HEC), then led by Bonita Miller, was found to have “about 867,000” Veterans applications – many years’ worth – languishing in a “pending” status. A large percentage of Veteran’s stuck in the system were seeking enrollment for healthcare and had received no action by HEC staff, an act tantamount to a denial of care for those Veterans. About a third of the Veterans in the “pending” status were deceased by the time of the OIG’s report.
The OIG report also found “that [VA] employees incorrectly marked unprocessed applications as completed and possibly [improperly] deleted 10,000 or more transactions from the Workload Reporting and Productivity (WRAP) tool over the past 5 years.”
Bonita Miller’s recent rehire into VA leadership comes through Leslie Wiggins, who has also had numerous problems during her career, including the death of three Veterans due to mismanagement, according to “VA’s-Bad-Bosses-Merry-Go-Round” found here.
In the Channel 2 News report, longstanding VA whistleblower Scott Davis explains that the problem is “always [VA] management looking out for management – not looking out for Veterans – not looking out for taxpayers.”
Next Veterans underscores the fact that Veterans have earned timely, efficient care and we seek better accountability – with an end to the bad boss Merry-Go-Round.