Power Pressure Based Fraud Decision

by Hal Mooz 9. May 2014 20:37

VA Whistleblowers Describe Alleged 'Cooking' of the Books

A whistleblower who worked at two Texas VA facilities claims he was “coached” on how to “cook the books” to conceal long wait times for patients, adding to concerns that the alleged falsification of records first alleged at a Phoenix VA Hospital might be widespread.

“We were changing numbers, we were changing dates,” Brian Turner, an Army medic turned VA scheduling clerk, told NBC News. “We were cooking the books.”

 

Staffers at VA facilities in two states have now made public allegations that they were aware of or participated in the manipulation of records, and an internal email from a facility in a third seems to show that staffers were told how to “game the system” to hide wait times.

Turner said he was inspired to come forward and contact the VA’s Inspector General by the allegations of the initial VA whistleblower, Dr. Samuel Foote, who claimed that the Phoenix facility where he worked until recently had a secret paper wait list in addition to its official electronic wait list so it could hide the length of time some patients had to go without care. He said that as many as 40 patients may have died because of delays.

In Phoenix, Dr. Foote claims that when the national VA tried to add a new data field that would have helped prevent the fudging of a patient’s requested appointment date, a local manager directed clerks to start putting new patient appointments on a paper records instead of into the computer system.

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said Friday that he had placed an employee from the Cheyenne VA Medical Center on paid leave and asked the inspector general to investigate. “VA takes any allegations about patient care or employee misconduct very seriously,” said the statement. “If true, the behavior outlined in the email is unacceptable.”

“If this is what it takes for VA leaders to do the right thing, you can’t help but question how they operate when they think no one is paying attention,” said Rep. Jeff Miller, R.-Florida, chair of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

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About Hal Mooz

Engineer, Project Manager, Entrepreneur, Author, Trainer, Lecturer, Thought Leader, Consultant

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