May 29, 2014

GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE: Inspector General: Veterans wait 115 days for care in Phoenix Veterans Affairs system.

More than 3,000 military veterans were found waiting for an appointment with a primary care physician in the Phoenix Veterans Affairs system, with 1,700 left in limbo by being excluded from an electronic waiting list, an inspector general has found.

The average wait time for a vet’s first appointment? 115 days.

An interim report by the Veterans Affairs inspector general has found that “inappropriate scheduling practices are systemic” throughout the Veterans Health Administration, with a particularly acute problem in Phoenix, where those who have been left off of the waiting list for care “continue to be at risk of being forgotten or lost in Phoenix Health Care Center’s convoluted scheduling process.”

The report found that in Phoenix, senior executives “significantly understated” wait times, which also happens to be a main performance indicator for salary increases and bonuses.

Could this be the basis of a False Claims Act suit?