VA audit: Pressured schedulers masked wait times

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — A preliminary Veterans Affairs audit of widespread health care problems for veterans concludes that in some cases VA schedulers were pressured to use bad practices to make waiting times for medical appointments look more favorable.

The audit was presented to President Barack Obama Friday by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who then submitted his resignation. It says a decision to set a maximum 14-day wait time for appointments without necessary resources amounted to an organizational leadership failure.

The audit found that in some instances schedulers were instructed to enter different desired dates than the one requested by the veteran, thus masking waiting times.

A separate inspector general's report this week found deep-seated problems in the veterans' sprawling health care system, which provides medical care to about 6.5 million veterans annually.