More cooking the books at a VA clinic

The VA inspector general has issued a scathing report accusing a Colorado VA clinic of manufacturing wait time data and delaying treatment for hundreds of veterans.

Washington Times:

Employees at a Colorado Springs VA clinic incorrectly reported wait times for veterans, making it appear that they got their appointments sooner than they actually did, while at least 288 veterans had to wait longer than the government’s 30-day target for an appointment, a federal watchdog said Thursday. 

The VA inspector general found that 64 percent of veterans faced excessive wait times at the PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom Outpatient Clinic.

Excessive wait times ranged from 31 days to 200 days. 

Staffers are also required to put veterans facing long wait times for appointments on the Veterans Choice List, which allows patients to receive outside care. However, investigators found that, for 288 veterans with excessive wait times, staffers either did not add them to the list in a timely manner or did not add them to the list at all. 

One hundred veterans were denied care because they were not added to the list. 

It was not made clear in the report whether staffers deliberately falsified records to make wait times appear shorter. 

The VA said it removed a management-level employee and reorganized scheduling staff to address the problems. 

This situation is similar to the scandal from two years ago, where several VA clinics actually falsified reports on wait times and several veterans waiting for treatment died as a result.

It's incomprehensible why the veterans waiting for treatment weren't put on the list that would have allowed them to seek help from a doctor in the private sector.  But when you have poor management and little or no accountability, such outrages become more likely.

The VA inspector general has issued a scathing report accusing a Colorado VA clinic of manufacturing wait time data and delaying treatment for hundreds of veterans.

Washington Times:

Employees at a Colorado Springs VA clinic incorrectly reported wait times for veterans, making it appear that they got their appointments sooner than they actually did, while at least 288 veterans had to wait longer than the government’s 30-day target for an appointment, a federal watchdog said Thursday. 

The VA inspector general found that 64 percent of veterans faced excessive wait times at the PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom Outpatient Clinic.

Excessive wait times ranged from 31 days to 200 days. 

Staffers are also required to put veterans facing long wait times for appointments on the Veterans Choice List, which allows patients to receive outside care. However, investigators found that, for 288 veterans with excessive wait times, staffers either did not add them to the list in a timely manner or did not add them to the list at all. 

One hundred veterans were denied care because they were not added to the list. 

It was not made clear in the report whether staffers deliberately falsified records to make wait times appear shorter. 

The VA said it removed a management-level employee and reorganized scheduling staff to address the problems. 

This situation is similar to the scandal from two years ago, where several VA clinics actually falsified reports on wait times and several veterans waiting for treatment died as a result.

It's incomprehensible why the veterans waiting for treatment weren't put on the list that would have allowed them to seek help from a doctor in the private sector.  But when you have poor management and little or no accountability, such outrages become more likely.