TOPEKA, Kan. - Problems with delayed care and unauthorized wait lists found at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in Arizona also existed in seven facilities serving the Midwest, but in much smaller numbers, VA officials said in letters to two U.S. senators.<br />
The VA maintained 10 such lists, also known as "secret waiting lists," of military veterans in need of care at seven facilities serving veterans in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, the letters said. They also said at least 96 veterans waited more than 90 days for treatment at the facilities, including 26 in St. Louis and 19 in Columbia, Missouri.<br />
The letters said that eight of the 10 lists "served to complement authorized lists to more fully support Veteran care and access." But the two other lists, including one at the Wichita facility, "placed Veterans at risk."<br />
The information about conditions in the VA's Heartland Network was sent to U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran of Kansas late last week, as the VA released the results of 216 site-specific audits detailing widespread falsification of waiting list records and unreported treatment delays at VA facilities nationwide. In that release, the VA did not reveal any information about conditions at individual sites.<br />
The VA is conducting a system-wide investigation after it was found that the Phoenix VA Health Care System had about 1,700 veterans in need of care on secret waiting lists, and another that had 1,400 waited over 90 days for primary care appointments. The scandal led to the resignation last week of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.<br />
Roberts said Tuesday he wanted more answers about conditions at the Robert J. Dole Veterans Administration Medical Center in Wichita and the other facilities. One letter said 21 veterans waited longer for 90 days for care in Wichita; the second put that total at nine. Roberts said he had earlier been assured by VA officials there were no such problems at the hospital.<br />
"My top priority is who is on that secret list and what is the status of their care?" Roberts said.<br />
The letters were sent to the senators by Francisco Vasquez, director of the Dole medical center, and Dr. William P. Patterson, the director of the VA's Heartland Network. The two senators said they forwarded the information in the letters to the VA's Office of Inspector General.<br />
The letters were first reported Monday by The Wichita Eagle. They both said the practices had been "immediately discontinued" and veterans were being contacted to ensure they are receiving the proper level of care, the letter said. It added that investigations into the issues are "ongoing."<br />
Officials from the Wichita VA didn't immediately respond to questions Tuesday from The Associated Press.<br />
The VA's Heartland Network facilities serve Kansas, Missouri and parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. The veterans who waited for care longer than 90 days included 14 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri; 12 in Kansas City; eight in a facility serving eastern Kansas and another eight in a facility serving the southern parts of Illinois and Indiana.
Associated Categories: U.S. News, Business News, Politics
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks in the U.S. fell broadly following drops in overseas markets as Greeks voted to reject creditor conditions for more loans, but the losses weren't as steep as many had feared.Wit...
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece lurched into uncharted territory and an uncertain future in Europe's common currency Sunday after voters overwhelmingly rejected demands by international creditors for mor...
CALAIS, Maine (AP) — A 22-year-old man who was drinking and celebrating the Fourth of July tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, killing him instantly, authorities said Sunday.Devon Stap...
WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress return from July Fourth fireworks and parades Tuesday facing a daunting summer workload and an impending deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown in the...
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says U.S. service members make it possible to enjoy the "incredible blessings" in the greatest country on earth.He says "freedom is not free" but is paid for b...