VA Whistleblower: Thousands of Applications Thrown Away

Wednesday, 02 Jul 2014 05:40 PM

By Greg Richter

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A Veterans Affairs employee is set to testify before Congress next week on allegations that 17,000 applications for VA healthcare were destroyed to avoid missing performance goals.

Scott Davis, a program specialist at the VA's national Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta, told Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Wednesday that employees are expected to process the applications within a five-day window. They face pressure from upper management, whose performance bonuses are based on meeting the goals.

The time goals are similar to the guidelines faced by VA hospitals, which are supposed to see patients within 14 days of patients' contacting hospitals. VA hospitals in Phoenix and other cities have been accused of falsifying their lists to make it appear the goals were met while veterans waited weeks and months to see doctors. Some died while waiting.

Davis' testimony will focus on applications for benefits which were allegedly deleted altogether. He told Cavuto that he is also looking into a backlog of more than 600,000 pending applications over the past several years.

Further, he said, new applications received last summer as part of the Affordable Care Act were moved to the front of the line.

"That's wrong," Davis said. "We should treat each veteran equally and focus on applications as they come in, not because of special campaigns coming out of D.C."

Davis said he initially faced harassment from supervisors when he began exposing the problems, so he sent his complaint to White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors. That complaint ended up back in the hands of the very supervisors whom Davis had accused of harassing him, he told Cavuto.

He said the only reason he hasn't been fired is because he is working with Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and his own representative, Tom Price, and Sen. Johnny Isakson.

"If I did not have elected officials working with me to address these issues I would have easily been terminated a long time ago," Davis said.

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