February 2017

Vets Views

Page 3 


Retirement Services Officers (RSOs)

Do you have questions on benefits, SBP, Retiree Appreciation Days or anything else retirement-related? Then contact the RSO for your area or go to the Army Retirement Services website (Note: That’s the number 1 after the g).

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January 30, 2017

VA statement about Office of Inspector General review of implementation of the Veterans Choice Program VA appreciates the Office of Inspector General (OIG) review of VA’s implementation of the Veterans Choice Program (VCP). The OIG report reviewed the VCP from its inception, over two years ago, in November of 2014 through September of 2015. Overall, the Department concurs with the findings in the report. However, VCP is no longer the program it was when it rolled out. The Department has made significant improvements since the inception of the program.

VA did not wait for the OIG report to publish before taking critical steps towards improving the program, including working with Congress to amend the law four times to increase Veterans access and satisfaction with VCP, including increasing the provider base, increasing the number of scheduled appointments, and implementing numerous process changes for both VA and our contract partners.

VA is moving in the right direction, towards an integrated healthcare network that improves Veterans’ healthcare experience by delivering the best of VA and the community. From fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2016, total community care authorizations increased by 25%. Over the same period, the VCP network of providers grew 67% to over 360,000 providers and facilities contracted. We are committed to deliver a program that meets the needs of Veterans and community providers while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

Even with the improvements, we recognize more work needs to be done. VA will continue working with Congress and all of our stakeholders and partners to deliver a community care program that meets the needs of Veterans and their families.

VCP continues to expand timely access to care for Veterans. Over 6 million VCP appointments have been completed since VCP’s inception. VA can’t make all the necessary changes to the VCP alone. We need Congress to act on our proposed Plan to Consolidate Community Care so we can continue to build on the progress we have made.


February 3, 2017

VA’s National Cemeteries lead nation in satisfaction survey Ranking tops private firms, federal agencies

WASHINGTON – For the sixth consecutive time, the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration (NCA) was ranked first in customer satisfaction among the nation’s top corporations and federal agencies in an independent survey conducted by the CFI Group utilizing the science of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

“NCA continues to embody our MyVA principles focusing on a culture of continuous performance improvement so that families trust us during important times of need,” said Interim Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Snyder. “We are simplifying operations and providing Veterans quality care and services. We want them to view VA as MyVA; a world-class, customer-focused, Veteran-centered service organization.”

The ACSI is the only national, cross-industry measure of satisfaction with the quality of goods and services available in the United States. Beginning in 1999, the federal government began using the ACSI methodology to measure citizen satisfaction with its agencies.

For 2016, NCA achieved a customer satisfaction index of 96, currently the highest ACSI score in either the private or public sector. The score is nearly 32 points above the 64 point average for federal agencies.

NCA participates in the ACSI every three years, previously in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013. This is the sixth time NCA participated and the sixth consecutive time NCA received the top rating among participating organizations.

The ACSI survey polled the next-of-kin or other people who arranged for the interment of a loved one in a VA national cemetery, six months to one year prior to the survey’s commencement.

NCA received ratings in the categories of: customer service, respectfulness of the service and interment and maintenance of the national cemetery, achieving an aggregate score of 96 out of a possible 100 points, indicating respondents are extremely pleased with their experience at VA national cemeteries and with its employees. The score for customer service was the highest received for this measure since the survey’s inception. Respondents also reported particularly high levels of satisfaction around the respectfulness of the service and interment and the maintenance of the national cemetery. In addition, respondents were willing to recommend NCA’s services to others.

According to Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Ronald E. Walters, NCA is continually seeking to According to Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Ronald E. Walters, NCA is continually seeking to improve customer services to Veterans.

“NCA has a proud tradition as an industry leader in both the public and private sectors,” Walters said. “These results demonstrate NCA’s continued commitment to providing dignified burials and lasting memorialization for Veterans and their family members.”