SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A blistering analysis of Veterans Affairs’ hospitals shows employees allegedly falsifying wait times.
The analysis in USA Today shows widespread manipulation at VA hospitals nationwide – including California.READ MORE: Person Suspected Of Shooting At Roseville Police Officer After Attempted Traffic Stop
The Sacramento VA says it’s not one of the California hospitals being reviewed for falsifying wait times. In fact, officials say they’re required to report appointments accurately in order to receive “proper resources.”
But the USA Today report comes just a year after the Sacramento VA hospital was in hot water for some of the worst wait times in the state.
The hospital had the highest percentage of patients waiting longer than 30 days for appointments and ranked sixth-worst nationally out of 150 VA hospitals.
The VA director blamed growing demand:
“If you’re looking for perfection – no patient waiting over thirty days of anything – I think it’s a moving target,” said Northern California VA Director David Stocktwell back in April of 2015.
Now, a scathing USA Today report says schedulers at VA hospitals across the country, including California, manipulated wait times.READ MORE: Big Rig Ends Up Perched Precariously On Guardrail After Crash On I-5 In Woodland
According to the paper, analysis shows “employees at 40 VA medical facilities in 19 states ‘zeroed out’ veteran wait times. Some cases, investigators found manipulation had been going on for as long as a decade.”
The VA Northern California Health Care System says it was not cited in the report. The hospital goes on to say: “every 30 days we audit appointments and conduct listening sessions with our schedulers to ensure our scheduling practices and reports are accurate and that of integrity.”
Patty Huffman is there for every one of her husband’s appointments. She feels like the VA gets a bad rap.
“I think they treat the best, the VA treats better than a lot of the hospitals,” Huffman said. “My husband loves the way the VA treats him.”
The Sacramento VA has recently increased capacity, hired new providers, added appointment times and opened a new emergency wing.
It also says it’s on track to receive new scheduling software.MORE NEWS: Sacramento Mother Of 4 Killed After Stopping To Help Pedestrian Who Had Also Been Hit
The most recent report at the Sacramento VA shows 95 percent of the hospitals’ appointments are now within thirty days.