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Report releases confirming V.A. hid hospital waiting lists

In recent weeks, we have written about various aspects of the recent scandal involving delayed care at hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.). We have noted that this scandal is affecting many Americans deeply because veterans, their loved ones and the public generally tend to trust that when wounded, ill or aging veterans require assistance that it will be provided for them not only in the form of veterans disability benefits but also in terms of quality medical care.

Unfortunately, a scathing report was recently released by the acing inspector general in regards to the scandal. The report confirms that V.A. administrators did indeed manipulate medical waiting lists affecting the care of veterans at one or more hospital facilities run by the V.A.

The report indicates that at one or more V.A. hospitals, administrators falsely reported waiting times for initial primary care appointments as five times shorter than they were in actuality. In addition, a staggering 1,700 or more patients were never officially placed on waiting lists for medical appointments and may or may not have ever received the care they needed.

Frustratingly, the report suggests that this kind of manipulation is "systematic throughout" the health care system run by the V.A. As a result, it is likely that this scandal will continue to evolve before the public becomes fully aware of its ultimate scope. Given that the V.A. operates 150 health care centers in the U.S. and serves approximately eight million veterans annually, the true scale of this scandal is potentially astronomical.

Source: New York Times, "Severe Report Finds V.A. Hid Waiting Lists at Hospitals," Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Michael D. Shear, May 28, 2014

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