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CAS3
12-18-03, 02:22 PM
VA Reports Performance Improvements For 2003

WASHINGTON (December 10, 2003) - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is
delivering high quality health care, benefits and memorial services to the
nation's veterans, according to VA's FY 2003 Annual Performance and
Accountability Report submitted today to the President and the Congress.

"We have fulfilled our responsibility to provide veterans with the best in
benefits and health care by making our department a model of excellence,"
said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi. "We are honored to
care for the health, welfare and dignity of veterans in recognition of their
service to our nation."

The report documents VA's progress during fiscal year 2003 towards making
sure that America's veterans and their families receive timely,
compassionate, high-quality care and benefits.

VA achieved an "unqualified clean audit opinion" on its financial statements
for the fifth consecutive year. This is the best report an agency can
receive from an independent auditor.

According to the report, the number of veterans using VA's health care
system has risen dramatically in recent years, increasing from 2.9 million
in 1995 to 5 million in 2003. To ensure availability of care for the core
veteran population, a new regulation giving priority access for severely
disabled veterans was implemented for those veterans with service-connected
disabilities rated 50 percent or greater.

VA continues to receive high satisfaction ratings among its patients with
scores of 73 percent for inpatients and 74 percent for outpatients, both
numbers up from FY 2002.

In memorial affairs, VA maintained high levels of customer satisfaction with
burial services. In a satisfaction survey, 97 percent of respondents rated
the appearance of VA's national cemeteries as "excellent."

VA significantly reduced its backlog of disability claims from a high of
432,000 claims to 254,000 at the end of 2003. In addition, the percentage
of claims more than six months old was reduced from 35 percent to 19
percent.

In 2003, VA met four of the five key performance goals relating to the
smooth transition of veterans from active military service to civilian life.
On the subject of having VA medical centers provide electronic access to
health information transmitted by the Department of Defense on separated
service members, VA surpassed its goal of 50 percent by achieving 100
percent.

The Federal Health Information Exchange and Government Computerized Patient
Record, a joint program with the Department of Defense, is fully installed
and functioning at all sites and will further ease the transition of
veterans from active service to civilian life.

"As America's troops return from liberating Iraq, we are reminded once again
of the incredible sacrifices our servicemen and women make in defense of
freedom," said Principi. "I will ensure they continue to receive
exceptional service and the respect they have earned."

VA's FY 2003 Annual Performance and Accountability Report can be found on
the Internet at www.va.gov/budget/report.

cjwright90
12-30-03, 01:05 PM
Still very slow, though...

greybeard
01-19-04, 01:18 AM
Yeah, very. Wonder if their 'report' included info regarding the dispicable state of affairs surrounding the case of Mike Clausen?
I'm betting no one remotely involved with the VA wants to even speak of it.