The American Legion Explains the Mess at the VA System in One Image
Click image to see full-sized view.
If you've found it difficult to get a complete picture of what's going on with the scandals at the nation's VA hospitals, we don't blame you.
The American Legion, a veterans service organization, created the image above explaining most of the allegations made against various VA hospitals, starting with Phoenix.
Click the image above to zoom in.
The VA Office of the Inspector General confirmed part of the allegations made against the VA health care system in Phoenix in a report yesterday -- an interim report released before the investigation is completed.
The interim report does not answer the question of whether 40 veterans died on various VA waiting lists, as a retired doctor has alleged, but the inspector general found about 1,700 veterans waiting to see a doctor who are "at risk of being forgotten or lost in Phoenix HCS's convoluted scheduling process."
In other words, according to the report, it's possible that those 1,700 veterans waiting for an appointment never would've seen a doctor.
"Our reviews have identified multiple types of scheduling practices that are not in compliance with VHA policy," the report states. "Since the multiple lists we found were something other than the official [electronic waiting list], these additional lists may be the basis for allegations of creating "secret" wait lists."
That report requested several immediate changes to the VA health care system in Phoenix which VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has agreed to.
However, there's still more to the investigation, including finding out whether 40 veterans actually died on this "secret" waiting list. President Obama said last week that it appears the veterans' deaths were not related to delays in care.
Thanks to the investigation in Phoenix, some of the allegations outlined in the image above are being investigated, but it's also uncovered more allegations in Phoenix:
Lastly, while conducting our work at the Phoenix HCS our on-site OIG staff and OIG Hotline received numerous allegations daily of mismanagement, inappropriate hiring decisions, sexual harassment, and bullying behavior by mid- and senior-level managers at this facility. We are assessing the validity of these complaints and if true, the impact to the facility's senior leadership's ability to make effective improvements to patients' access to care.
The inspector general didn't include a timetable of when this investigation is going to be completed.
Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.