WJTV News Channel 12 - Jackson VA Director Pleased With Jackson Audit

Jackson VA Director Pleased With Jackson Audit

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     Days after an audit of the VA healthcare system revealed massive wait times for veterans seeking care, the Director at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Veterans Hospital tells us how Mississippi's facility measure up.
    Director Joe Battle says he's pleased with what the audit report had to say about the Jackson facility, noting that they've managed to schedule 97% of patients within 30 days.
    Battle says the Department of Veteran Affairs will continue to conduct scheduling audits and hire an auditing firm in the future. He went on to talk about some of the improvements being made at the facility, like the addition of a women's clinic and a new mental health clinic, however, the problems don't just end with scheduling.
    Jesse Brown, an 83-year-old Korea War veteran, is on a fixed income and says he's had to take a 'Means Test' to determine his net worth, before the VA will cover any of his medical expenses. It's something that's put him in a very difficult spot financially. Brown says, "They ask you your net worth and what all you have and everything. and they tell you, if you own over $84K and your dwelling, i think, then you've got to pay for everything."
    Joe Battle says the VA still does the 'Means Test', and when asked whether he thought this policy was right, he said that it wasn't his place to say, however the VA must follow the law. He also went on to say that the VA can not bill Medicare, but can take medicare supplements. 
     As for his agenda with VA, he says it's simple, "I want every veteran who's eligible for VA healthcare in mississippi, to get it that's why we're here."
Battle also noted that jackson was not one of the facilities on the audit that was listed as needing further review.

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