- The Washington Times - Friday, February 5, 2016

Employees at a Colorado Springs VA clinic incorrectly reported wait times for veterans, making it appear that they got their appointments sooner than they actually did, while at least 288 veterans had to wait longer than the government’s 30-day target for an appointment, a federal watchdog said Thursday. 

The VA inspector general found that 64 percent of veterans faced excessive wait times at the PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom Outpatient Clinic.

Excessive wait times ranged from 31 days to 200 days. 

Staffers are also required to put veterans facing long wait times for appointments on the Veterans Choice List, which allows patients to receive outside care. However, investigators found that, for 288 veterans with excessive wait times, staffers either did not add them to the list in a timely manner or did not add them to the list at all. 

One hundred veterans were denied care because they were not added to the list. 

It was not made clear in the report whether staffers deliberately falsified records to make wait times appear shorter. 

The VA said it removed a management-level employee and reorganized scheduling staff to address the problems. 

Cory Ramsey, the VA’s interim regional director, said in a written response to the report that the investigation had retroactively applied some standards in finding fault with the clinic.

The report comes nearly two years after it was discovered that employees at a Phoenix VA used fake wait lists to conceal the lengthy wait times that veterans faced for care at the facility.

The fallout from the scandal forced then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. 

 

 

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