Tag: seth moulton

Seth Moulton and the VA again

June 10th, 2015 by

Last week I praised Congressman Seth Moulton for working to reform the VA based on his experience as a patient. I thought he did a reasonable job at looking for opportunities for improvement rather than bashing the organization and its employees. I also pointed out that while there are problems with the VA there’s no guarantee things are better in the private sector.

At least based on the letters the Globe published in response to the original article, others didn’t see things the same way.

  • Dr. Henry Feldman who works mainly at the BI but also at the VA makes my point by stating that things would be as bad or worse at a “prestigious medical center” if a patient walked in with no  medical records or insurance cards
  • William O’Brien, a retired VA mental health chief, blames Congress for increasing the VA’s workload through two wars without providing additional funds to take care of everyone.

As I reread the article I can understand where the letter writers are coming from, but I still give Moulton the benefit of the doubt. If anything responsibility for the tone of the overall article should be placed on the reporter and editor. While Feldman and O’Brien make good points, there are plenty of opportunities for the VA to improve and I’m glad Moulton is trying to help make it happen.

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

Seth Moulton and the VA system: I like what I see

June 5th, 2015 by
Seth Moulton. So far so good
Seth Moulton. So far so good

Congressman Seth Moulton was an inspiring candidate: a Marine and Harvard Business School grad with strong leadership skills who wanted to serve the country in Washington. Despite the cynicism I and many others have for politicians, this guy seemed like the real deal.

So far he appears to be living up to his promise.

I was very impressed by an article in today’s Boston Globe (In effort to fix woes in VA care, Moulton taps own experience) about how Seth is working to reform the VA healthcare system. He went for care at the VA without revealing his Congressional status, and he solicited input from others in the waiting room and from his own military buddies. He noted that many of the staff and clinicians are doing a good job, and tried to identify what was holding them back. He’s attempting to translate his insights into pragmatic reforms that can help address root causes of the problems.

All of this is a welcome break from the usual bloviating we hear on Capitol Hill when it comes to the VA and other topics. I hope Seth is successful with this approach and that it is contagious among his colleagues!

I do want to point out that the VA often gets a bad rap. Yes, there are all sorts of problems, many of which are inexcusable. When we read articles about the VA the implicit assumption is that things are much better in the private sector. But those of us who work in the system know the VA has no monopoly on inexcusable lapses in quality, safety and customer service.

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.