Skip to comments.Records were falsified at Minneapolis VA, former workers say
Posted on 09/04/2014 9:10:40 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
MINNEAPOLIS Two former employees of the Minneapolis VA Medical Center allege they were pressured to falsify patient appointment dates and medical records to hide delays, a television station reported.
In a report that aired Wednesday night, the ex-employees told KARE-TV that in some cases, they were told to falsify medical records by writing that patients had declined follow-up treatments when, in reality, they say the veterans had never been contacted.
The former VA workers fear that patients' lives may be at risk because they say some cases involved suspected colon cancer.
"Some of them were getting missed altogether," said Heather Rossbach, one of the former VA workers.
Until recently, Rossbach was a medical support assistant and Letty Alonso was a supervisor in the Minneapolis VA's gastroenterology department.
"I feel like they need to be exposed for what's really going on," Alonso said.
The women contend they were fired after trying to alert top VA administrators about the problems, and have outlined their allegations in a complaint to the VA's Office of Inspector General.
Minneapolis VA Health Care System director Patrick Kelly told KARE he's not aware of any secret wait lists at the facility, and he does not believe such lists exist.
"None have been uncovered," Kelly said.
In August, government investigators reported they found no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix. But investigators say they found widespread problems that the Veterans Affairs Department is promising to fix.
Kelly said in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday that the quality of care in the Minneapolis VA's gastrointestinal clinic is "excellent."
"Veterans should not deter from coming to the Minneapolis VA based on the allegations of former employees," Kelly's statement said.
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., said Thursday he has sent a letter to federal agencies to confirm they are investigating the former workers' claims.
Walz, a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, said in a statement the allegations are "extremely troubling" and run counter to what local leadership at the VA told him.
"If these allegations prove true, those responsible must and will be held accountable," Walz' statement said. "No employee should feel pressured to falsify data or fear retaliation if they do the right thing and report wrongdoing to their superiors."
Rossbach and Alonso said their gastroenterology department was in charge of scheduling colonoscopies to detect cancer and follow-up care if a doctor spotted problems.
"I caught one with bleeding 46 days with no action whatsoever," Alonso said.
To keep evidence of delays in Minneapolis out of VISTA, the VA's official electronic record tracking system, the women said a supervisor ordered them to keep a secret patient waiting list.
Kelly told the station that Alonso's allegations about wait times were "unfounded. Unsubstantiated."
KARE reports the independent Office of Special Counsel for the U.S. government is investigating both women's claims that they were fired for blowing the whistle. A spokesman told the AP on Thursday the agency had no comment.
V A ping.
Just like Penn State, the entire VA needs to be dismantled, and a bunch of managers need to go to jail to be with Jerry Sandusky.
Yes, I would say more than a bunch, but this is Obamaworld, where up is down right is left, hot is cold, and no one is ever held accountable for anything, from this, to Benghazi to the IRS. I wish things were different, but as long as the communists are in charge, it will not change.
Ping, for your further education.
We all know it's the seriousness of the charges that rule. So let's make some charges.
“Prosecution and jail”
From your keyboard to Gods eyes.
It’s a simple one-page fix.
Terminate VA entirely. All former DoD members are moved to Medicare and allowed to shop for their medical needs, in their own communities....no longer forced to travel for an hour or two to reach a VA center.
Create a status within medicare called Medicare-Vet, which gives a better pay status to hospitals and doctors who care for them.
Fire all VA employees. Just tell them ‘tough luck’ and wish them well in the real world of medical care.
The VA has probably told doctors not to identify any new disabilities (most medical systems would call these symptoms) so as to not obligate the VA for treatment....
"Let me please introduce myself
I am a man of wealth and taste.
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a mans soul and faith
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name".
And start with every lying SOB who has no clue what the VA has been up to. It is incredible to me that the VA doesn’t have Inspectors General in place where people with legitimate complaints can vent in private. They have to have them but it seems they need firing too for sliding thru this sloppy performance.
In a former career I did the occasional nuclear related audit. No one, repeat: NO ONE in gov’t or anywhere connected to a nuclear related job had any authority or option to refuse to answer my questions or show me their working documents. Even hesitating could get your last paycheck handed to you next morning. It is disgusting to the point of drooling that a gummint medical facility can’t produce a person with authority to get to the bottom of a problem IMMEDIATELY. It is fortunate that at least one mis-treated Vet hasn’t taken it personally yet and cleaned out one floor of a facility that was supposed to help him? Somehow I’ve never had those problems personally but it could be that I look like the guy who just might take out the ground floor? Semper Fi
“It is incredible to me that the VA doesnt have Inspectors General in place where people with legitimate complaints can vent in private.”
Well, they were fortunate to have their “White Stepnfetchit IG George J Opfer until he resigned last December “to spend more time with his family ( but now don’t they all say something like that). The rats always leave the sinking ship first. Now we have Obama’s hand-picked “acting IG” who is schooled in lying, delaying and obfuscating. There are so many of them, there must be a school somewhere to teach them their needed “skills” to keep the wholesale corruption from being exposed.
It would be laudable if there were real whistleblower protections, but with this bunch, if you open your mouth it’s open season and you are the game.
Obama puts a veteran in charge and it only takes him one month to report that there’s no evidence any veterans died while waiting for care. Is there one political appointee in the world that’s honest?