Hultgren calls on VA to protect veterans' credit ratings
U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Illinois) recently joined 39 fellow lawmakers in crafting a letter expressing their concerns over delayed payments made in the name of U.S. veterans and how such delays could harm veterans' credit ratings.
In the July 10 letter, which was published on Hultgren's website and sent to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin, the legislators said some veterans have already been hurt by the recent implementation of the Veterans Choice Program's (Choice).
"Congress has previously raised serious concerns regarding the implementation of the Choice Program by the VA," the letter says. "We believe reforms will improve medical treatment for our nation’s veterans, but it has come to our attention that the billing and reimbursement practices of the VA are leading to adverse credit actions against participants in the program, including debt collection proceedings and reporting of negative information on the participants’ credit reports."
The VA received more than 57,000 calls asking for help with credit issues in April alone, its first month of service.
Hultgren and the others are seeking information on the average time the VA takes to make a payment on a claim through the program as well as how long it “takes providers to submit completed claims to the VA.” The lawmakers also want to know what the department plans to do to correct problems.