Skip to comments.VA internal audit: Wait-list fraud found at 64% of VA facilities
Posted on 05/31/2014 10:29:32 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
A new VA internal audit found wait-list fraud at almost two-thirds of all VA facilities, and that 13% of schedulers had been trained to commit fraud as part of their work. This new audit, which is separate from the Inspector General probe of the Phoenix facility, provided the final straw that forced VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to offer his resignation yesterday:
Appointments wait times were manipulated at more than 60 percent of the Department of Veterans Affairs health facilities investigated as part of a new internal audit.
The White House-ordered audit found that schedulers faced pressure to manipulate the system and concluded there was a systemic lack of integrity within some Veterans Health Administration facilities.
The audit, issued as VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned Friday, found that 64 percent of the 216 VA facilities reviewed had at least one instance where a veterans desired appointment date had been changed. The review found 13 percent of schedulers had received specific instructions to misrepresent wait times.
The review also found that 7 percent to 8 percent of scheduling staff said they used alternatives to the VAs electronic wait list, a practice that occurred in 62 percent of the facilities examined.
This President spent the last several years shrugging off scandals and massive incompetence Benghazi, the ObamaCare rollout at HHS, Operation Fast & Furious at the Department of Justice, and James Clapper committing perjury in the Senate, just to name a few that resulted in zero firings at any level. This time, though, Obama had no choice, even though he had inexplicably issued two statements of confidence in Shinseki in the previous two weeks. Apparently no one at the White House had bothered to keep up with their own promises to clean up the VA from the 2008 campaign, and got blindsided by the massive corruption that Shinseki allowed to fester:
In other high-profile situations involving Internal Revenue Service employees targeting Tea Party groups, Secret Service agents partying in foreign countries and the State Department response to the Benghazi consulate attacks in 2012 Obama also resisted calls from political rivals and media pundits to remove top figures.
In some cases, Obama did not believe the agencies involved had made major transgressions, calling the lapses isolated and trumped up by his political rivals.
Even with Shinseki, Obama went to great lengths to defend the retired general, who had been injured after stepping on a land mine in Vietnam, calling him a good man . . .an outstanding soldier. . .a champion of our veterans. And the president emphasized repeatedly that the problems at veterans hospitals preceded Obamas tenure and that the specific recent examples of wrongdoing did not surface to the level where Ric was aware or it or we were able to see it.
But Shinseki was more exposed when influential Democrats began joining Republicans in calling for his ouster, something that did not happen to Sebelius. In her case, the White House and Democrats feared a nasty confirmation fight for a replacement at a time when Republicans were trying to exploit the health-care Web site problems for political gain heading into the midterm election cycle this fall.
By the time Sebelius had departed, the enrollment figures showed that the White House had surpassed its initial goals, blunting GOP criticism.
In Shinsekis case, the problems inside the VA are far more intractable and will take a lot longer to fix. The latest blow to the general came Friday morning, when Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a former Veterans Affairs official who lost both of her legs while serving in combat in Iraq, urged Shinseki to resign.
Our first priority should be the veterans, and at this point, whether Secretary Shinseki will stay or go is too much of a distraction, Duckworth said. I think he has to go. He certainly loves veterans, but its time for new leadership.
Dont bet on that being the final factor. The audit showing corruption at 64% of VA facilities on an initial and internal audit would have made Shinseki politically radioactive in any context. Shinseki had more than five years to take control of the VA, and the sheer scale of this systemic failure points directly to his incompetence at running the organization. It also points to Obamas detachment from his own administration again, even on initiatives that Obama himself insists are high priorities for himself.
Next, Congress should insist on conducting its own audit of the VA, probably through GAO. Even with the scale of corruption at the VA registering this high on an internal audit, its an easy bet that itll be higher in an independent probe of all facilities.
V A ping.
VA To Improve Veterans Health Care With New $500 Million Waiting Room
I get excellent care at the VA. The politicians only seem interested in using this to continue the endless blame game.
Someone needs to step up and make sure the Vets who are not receiving the care/or are on waiting lists have access to what I get.
I have little or no hope that will occur....the idiots in Washington will make it an election year talking point..and forget it until its politically advantageous for on or the other side to make it an issue.
I don’t know why this isn’t conspiracy to defraud the gov’t. (not that there’s anything wrong with that)
You can’t tell me the various admins of one region didn’t discuss among themselves the ways to achieve their bonuses.
Is your physician an American, because mine isn’t and never has been, since 1983.
Enrollment figures surpassed goals?! According to whom? The same types of bureaucrats that make up fake waiting lists at the VA.
6 mos ago my Dad called daily for 8 weeks to get an appt. With a pcp to get a referral to the eye doctor. (Army, Phillipines, kaboom, blind in one eye).
Had to call his Congresscritter. They called back the next day.
I also get good to excellent care at a VA Health center, so the quality of service varies greatly from center to center. There has been talk of vouchers allowing vets to seek medical care at civilian facilities when it is unavailable at the VA. In 2008 I was trsnferred from a VA hospital to a civilian hospital when I had a gall bladder attack that, for whatever reason (I don’t recall why)could not be handled at the VA facility. I did not have a voucher or did I request the transfer. While being treated by civilian doctors for my gall bladder, tests resulted in a recommendation that I undergo a CABG (coronary artery bypass graft). I was moved to a heart hospital and underwent a CABG. The very large bill (perhaps negotiated downward) was paid by the VA, for which I was grateful. The point of the foregoing is that, if deemed necessary, the VA does send some vets out of the VA health system without vouchers.
Yeah for the most part, I’ve had the primary care provider change fairly regularly, every couple of years or so, and the specialists change more often than that.
From my perspective, the VA mimics the care I got when I was on active. The turnover in personal never bothered me then and doesn’t bother me now.
I use the VA medical centers in Helena and Salt Lake City. Have never experienced calling and not getting an appointment. Sometimes they are weeks out but they have always scheduled something on one call.
Interesting you called the Representative, I’d bet if asked in the last couple of weeks, he/she would have sworn they never heard anything about appointment delays ever...
Wish they would have listed the hospitals.
Document: VA Audit report
Oh yes something will happen. The guilty will get promoted. . . .
The Onion is close. The reality is even stupider...
“The VA has spent a total of $489 million to upgrade conference rooms, buy draperies, and purchase new office furniture during the past four-and-a-half years.”
The VA ..........Poster child and advertisment for crap care
one topic that is never mentioned - a comparison of number of patients seen by a doctor each hour. I have some insight that the number may be as little as half of the number in private medicine.
It doesn’t mean that 40% are not manipulating. Just means they were able to catch 60%.
Why do they bonus for doing there jobs? Just like IRS, HHS, Teachers & etc. they want more and more $$$$$$ for nothing look at schools, colleges, IRS, FBI, NSA & etc. all perks they get from working class in USA. Now they R making more than the TAX PAYERS who R paying them. Something about that is not right. And to say nothing about Congress and 98% of elected officials all over USA. Go look at RU cities halls & there waste. And its 1000 time in DC. Only in American do they ask us for $$$$ to get them there job & then miss use R TAX $$$$. Wake up people. God please protect us from R leaders.