Southwest VA officials knew of wait time problems - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Southwest VA officials knew of wait time problems

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PHOENIX - An audit by the Veterans Affairs health care network in the Southwest shows officials knew years ago that employees were manipulating data on doctor appointments. 

The Arizona Republic reports (http://bit.ly/1lJqWkL ) that officials failed to stop the practice despite a national directive. 

The 2012 audit found hospital clinics in Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas chronically violated department policy and created innacurate data on patient wait times using a variety of methods. 

In New Mexico, schedulers would sometimes cancel appointments and remake them to reflect acceptable wait times. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.yl/1nu90ag ) details of the rigged scheduling were among the findings of an investigation triggered in 2013 by a whistle blower complaint.

A federal audit released earlier this month says El Paso, Dallas, Harlingen, and Amarillo VA centers have some of the longest wait times in the nation. 

Allegations that dozens of veterans died while awaiting appointments at the Phoenix VA medical center first triggered the national uproar over the VA.

Source: Associated Press