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Capitol Health Call
October 8, 2014

Testimony on VA Waiting List Scandal

JAMA. 2014;312(14):1389. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.13714

Administrators at 13 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facilities allegedly lied to investigators about waiting-list manipulation and other problems, VA Inspector General Richard Griffin testified recently before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (http://1.usa.gov/1nZ6TeN).

In addition, managers at 42 of 93 VA health care facilities were involved in recording the next available date for an appointment with a physician as the date the patient wanted, even if it was months away, Griffin told the committee. At 19 VA health care facilities, long-standing appointments were canceled and rescheduled for the same time and day to give the illusion that patients were seen right away, he said. By manipulating the waiting lists, the administrators circumvented the VA’s standard that patients should be seen by a physician within 14 days of their desired date.

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