VA Falsified Records on Waiting Times at Colorado Clinic Too

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 07:22 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A VA clinic in Colorado falsified records so it appeared that doctors were seeing patients within the required 14-day window, according to a recent medical Inspector's investigation.

The falsified records and delays in healthcare reportedly led to the deaths of dozens of veterans, whistleblowers told USA Today, and now the American Legion is calling for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki after similar reports surfaced about misconduct at a Phoenix VA clinic.

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The Medical Inspector's investigation — completed in December but only recently made public — into the Fort Collins, Colorado, clinic found that, "If the clerical staff allowed records to reflect that veterans waited longer than 14 days, they were punished by being placed on a 'bad boy list.'"

"Many of the [clerks] reported significant stress when trying to explain to veterans why they cannot make earlier appointments for them," the report said. "By entering [false data], the wait time for that patient appears to be zero days . . . The wait times were actually much longer."

Since the report was completed, the VA has conducted four separate check-ins at Fort Collins.

According to USA Today, officials "found 'other instances of misunderstanding' wait-time tracking requirements, 'but we have not found any widespread patterns of misunderstanding.'"

The head of the American Legion called for Shinseki's resignation Monday.

"His patriotism and sacrifice for this nation are above reproach," American Legion national commander Daniel Dellinger said in a statement. "However, his record as head of the Department of Veterans Affairs tells a different story. It’s a story of poor oversight and failed leadership."

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