Many people are very aware of the abuse of travel pay by many veterans. Some say it should be eliminated but that will most likely not happen anytime in the near future. I am a nurse in Primary Care at a VA and witness and report this abuse frequently. Many veterans truly need help to get to their appointments and developing our own transportation system, as others suggested would also cost a great deal. For the fastest resolution to this issue, I suggest adding an update to our scheduling program. This update, instead of asking if you would "Like to display upcoming appointments" it should be mandatory to display. Also, if appointments are not scheduled on the same day as other appointments, the system should force the user to put a valid reason why the veteran must come on different days. Maybe even a list to choose from like, 1. clinic closed 2. Urgent work in 3. No available slots open, etc. It would also be great if the system could notify other departments automatically if an appointment for one department had to validly be scheduled on a different day so that 2nd department could see if they would be able to switch the patients appointment with them to the new day he/she is coming in for the new appointment. This would probably save millions of dollars every year in travel pay to the veterans but still help those who need it.
Idea No. 14537