Over the next five years, the Department of Veterans Affairs is on track to waste over $100 million on tens of thousands of unnecessary medical examinations for disabled veterans. These figures have been released by the VA Inspector General in a report that came out earlier this summer.
The IG’s office found that department officials may have requested unnecessary medical check-ups in almost 40% of benefits cases. Such exams are used to see if a veteran’s health has improved enough to merit a change in his or her benefits amount. The VA pays for the examinations, but they can be inconvenient and time-consuming for the veteran.
The report indicates that many cases clearly should have been exempt from periodic checks, such as instances when a veteran was permanently disabled or where changes to benefits were unlikely. Despite this reality, examinations were ordered frequently.
The Inspector General also noted that these excessive exams put additional pressure on the claims processors and VA physicians because they increased their workloads without proper justification.