McMorris Rodgers Calls for Immediate Correction of VA Community Care Backlog

May 11, 2021

Washington, D.C. (May 12, 2021) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough calling for immediate action to address the community care backlog at the Mann-Grandstaff medical center.

In the letter, Cathy writes, “A community care backlog of at least six months seems to have developed. If the community care referral bottleneck is not resolved quickly, it risks closing off access to an important health care option that many veterans already preferred, which has become even more vital as disruptions caused by the EHR have reduced capacity at the medical center.”

She continued, “The community care referral problems seem to be caused by a host of factors. The community care office at Mann-Grandstaff has long been understaffed and overworked, and I know the added stress of adapting to the new EHR has not helped the situation. Employees report that orders and referrals of various types routinely fall through the cracks, meaning they get routed to unexpected parts of the Cerner system or simply are not processed. Generally, employees report that Cerner’s referral management function is not efficient or user friendly, and there is no consistency in how referrals are to be managed. I do not believe any specific training on the referral manager system was provided to most employees.”

In the letter, Cathy also requested the answers to the following questions:

  1. How many community care appointments have been requested since October 24, 2020, when the Cerner EHR was implemented, how many of those referrals were processed successfully, and how many of those community care appointments were completed?
  2. How many community care referrals are outstanding at Mann-Grandstaff now? 
  3. How many days, on average, does it take to schedule a community care appointment and what is the current average time required to close out a community care referral initiated by Mann-Grandstaff? What was the average before October 24, 2020? 
  4. What are the causes of the difficulties in processing community care referrals and how and when will they be resolved? 
  5. How many vacancies are there now in the community care office at Mann-Grandstaff? What was the optimal staffing level for the community care office prior to the Cerner transition? Does that level need a temporary adjustment to accommodate the transition? What is the expected staffing requirement following full implementation? 

You can read Cathy’s full letter to Secretary McDonough here: LINK


Recent Posts

McMorris Rodgers Introduces Bill Expanding Service Opportunities for Disability Community

Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) reintroduced the Hannah Cvancara Service Act (H.R. 7405) to empower individuals with a non-service-connected amputation to serve the United States Armed Forces as medical personnel. This legislation was inspired by Hannah Cvancara, a Spokane resident who suffered a childhood amputation that disqualified her from serving […]

McMorris Rodgers, Cantwell Applaud Approval of Disaster Declaration for Spokane County Following Devastating Wildfires

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Joe Biden declared that a major disaster exists in Spokane County and ordered federal assistance to supplement recovery efforts in the aftermath of the Gray Fire and the Oregon Road Fire in August 2023. After the announcement, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) […]

Feb 15, 2024

McMorris Rodgers Helps Pass Bipartisan Bill to Block President Biden’s LNG Export Ban, Unleash American Energy

Washington D.C. – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) helped the House of Representatives pass the Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act (H.R. 7176) to reverse President Biden’s American liquified natural gas (LNG) export ban. She released the following statement after the vote: “The President’s decision to impose a ban on new permits […]