POLITICS

VA Audit Finds Pressured Schedulers Masked Wait Times

05/30/2014 03:09 pm ET | Updated May 31, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

An audit of Department of Veterans Affairs health facilities found an "overly complicated scheduling process" showing appointments' wait times were manipulated at more than 60 percent of facilities.

The results come from the first phase of the White House-ordered audit. An additional audit that will cover all remaining VA facilities will be completed in early June.

Below, more from the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A preliminary Veterans Affairs audit of widespread health care problems for veterans concludes that in some cases VA schedulers were pressured to use bad practices to make waiting times for medical appointments look more favorable.

The audit was presented to President Barack Obama Friday by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who then submitted his resignation. It says a decision to set a maximum 14-day wait time for appointments without necessary resources amounted to an organizational leadership failure.

The audit found that in some instances schedulers were instructed to enter different desired dates than the one requested by the veteran, thus masking waiting times.

A separate inspector general's report this week found deep-seated problems in the veterans' sprawling health care system, which provides medical care to about 6.5 million veterans annually.

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