- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The family of a deceased Marine is looking for answers after records from the Department of Veterans Affairs showed that he rescheduled an appointment after his death.

Cpl. Jordan Buisman, a former Marine videographer, was medically discharged after developing epilepsy. In June 2012 he saw a neurologist at a Minnesota VA, who instructed him to seek an appointment if there were any changes in his condition. After Cpl. Buisman had a seizure in September, he scheduled an appointment with the VA on Oct. 12, and was confirmed for an appointment Dec. 20, a local NBC affiliate reported.

“It really makes me angry,” Lisa Riley, Jordan’s mother, said of the 70-day wait for her son to see a specialist. The VA’s policy for getting patient’s into a specialty clinic is 14 days, the station reported.

Cpl. Buisman died Nov. 26, 2012, with “seizure disorder” listed as the cause on his death certificate. On Nov. 30, four days after his death, someone wrote in the Marine’s VA records that he canceled his appointment and rescheduled it for Jan. 17, NBC reported.

VA whistleblowers told the affiliate that it has been “common practice” to conduct inappropriate scheduling practices so it looks like the patient — not the VA — is responsible for delays.

Rep. Erik Paulsen, Minnesota Republican, said “action needs to be taken.”

“There needs to be consequences,” Mr. Paulsen said.

The VA refused to talk to the station about Cpl. Buisman’s case, but provided several reasons why an appointment might be rescheduled, including the actions of an automated phone call system.

When asked for specifics on the phone system, the VA admitted that patients are contacted 72 hours before an appointment. In order for such a system to reschedule Cpl. Buisman’s appointment, an automated call would have happened weeks before his meeting with a specialist.

The Marine’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the VA, the station reported.

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