Recent reports have revealed that the VA healthcare system currently lacks the needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for its medical staff and healthcare workers should a second wave of COVID-19 cases impact the United States. During the peak of the pandemic the VA’s 170 medical centers used 250,000 N95 masks on a daily basis, using almost 2 million N95 masks per week.
Currently, VA has a stockpile of PPE and other protective equipment to last VA for a period of 30 days. According to VA officials, VA is currently in need of at least a 60-day supply of PPE to accommodate the full reopening of the VA healthcare system across the country and the loosening of restrictions of stay-at-home orders nationwide. In order to handle a second wave of cases similar to the first, VA would need a 6-month supply of PPE to adequately supply their medical centers.
The need for so much additional PPE has also had a sizable impact on VA spending in their healthcare facilities. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, VA spent $10 million per month on PPE for the entirety of their healthcare system. Currently VA is spending over $100 million per month to supply their staff with the much-needed PPE.
VA has recently added 18,800 medical staff and healthcare providers to respond to the pandemic, which has also added to the need for more PPE in the VA system. VA is currently preparing 4 “Readiness Centers” that will be used to house surplus PPE across the country until it is called upon by VA facilities.
Gardberg and Kemmerly will continue to keep an eye on VA medical centers and any changes that may be announced for those facilities. If you have questions about VA reopening or VA disability claims please contact our office at (251) 343-1111 or gardberglaw.com. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama