The veterans’ wait times appeared much shorter in electronic scheduling records because staffers at the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Center in Houston, Texas were told to designate appointments as cancelled by the patient when they were really cancelled by the facility, according to a VA inspector general report released on Monday.
Investigators learned through a review that two former scheduling supervisors at the hospital and a current director of two of its outpatient clinics told staffers as recently as February to designate appointments cancelled by the clinic as cancelled by patients.
“This report is a prime example of why VA is still mired in dysfunction. The inspector general caught three VA leaders red-handed instructing their subordinates to manipulate wait times,” Rep. Jeff Miller (R., Fla.), who chairs the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, told the Washington Free Beacon.
Miller said one of the VA leaders was allowed to retire with full benefits, while the other two still work at the VA.