Shocking Report: VA Hospital Allowed Veterans on Secret List to Die
Susanne Posel (OC) : Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake are demanding that the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs conduct a probe into the Phoenix VA Medical Center (PVAMC) on “recent reports of gross mismanagement and neglect.”
McCain said: “I am appalled by the number of veterans who stated to my office that the VA was just “waiting” or ‘hoping’ that they would die and be one less burden on the system. These increasing individual delays clearly illustrate systemic problems with how effectively the VA is providing care to our veterans.”
The call for action against the PVAMC is due to a report published that states veteran deaths at the facility are due to secret waiting lists.
This comes on the heels of Congressman Jeff Miller, chair of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs (HCVA) revealing that because of delays in care, an estimated 40 veterans died needlessly.
The investigation also shows that the Phoenix VA Healthcare System (PVAHS) kept dual records of patients to obscure their waiting times – as much as nearly 60 days to go without medical care.
Sam Foote, former doctor for the PVAHS revealed that the “secret waiting list was used by senior management to conceal the fact that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor.”
Foote said that this “sham” list was a “scheme [to] deliberately . . . avoid the VA’s own internal rules.”
According to Foote, the “official” list showed a waiting time of 14 to 30 days; however to cover their tracks, “the developed the secret waiting list.”
When a veteran wanted to make an appointment, Foote said: “They enter information into the computer and do a screen-capture, hard-copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer — so there’s no record.”
Foote explained : “That hard copy is then placed into a secret electronic waiting list, Foote said, with the paper data being shredded. He also revealed that patients wouldn’t be taken off the secret list until their appointment time was within 14 days or less —giving the appearance that the VA was improving waiting times. I feel very sorry for the people who work at the Phoenix VA. They all wish they could leave ’cause they know what they’re doing is wrong.”
Media reports show that in July of 2013, Sharon Helman, director at the PVAHS, knew about this secret waiting list that was electronic and “off-the-books”.
Helman is also accused of knowing that veterans were being forced to wait 6 – 20 weeks for their initial appointment with a primary care physician.
The PVAHS released a statement : “It is disheartening to hear allegations about Veterans care being compromised,” the agency said in a statement to CNN. “We have conducted robust internal reviews since these allegations surfaced and welcome the results from the Office of Inspector General’s review. We take these allegations seriously.”
Helman reportedly has received $9,000 in bonuses while veterans were dying at her facility.
Susanne Posel, Occupy Corporatism