Articles, , , ,

Whistleblowers explain how Tucson Veterans Affairs gamed the system

Whistleblowers explain how Tucson Veterans Affairs gamed the system



tonight new federal bindings show nearly two million dollars in least urology equipment went unused at the Tucson VA the report cites 217 thousand dollars of taxpayer money wasted during the four-month period when the equipment was not used the VA has since improved their policy so this will not happen again our caiga 9 investigation into the southern Arizona VA crisis continues tonight more claims that the VA covered up its severe staffing shortage that delayed care to patients you will hear to whistleblowers describe exactly how staff was instructed to quote game the system to meet performance measures valerie Cavazos continues her nine-year side investigation David Valdez is a Vietnam War veteran in a civilian hospital not the VA for surgery he injured his knees while under gunfire and he says decades later his knees blew out in since 2005 11 years in severe pain unable to walk he's tried to schedule surgery at the VA couldn't get a surgery to save my life he compared but his Nina's who did you see a doctor well I was going to but then they canceled my appointment why did they cancel your appointment I don't know they just do that Valdez became a new patient just as Gary Ramirez started his new position as a medical support assistant scheduling appointments Ramirez was aware of the VA's policy where we had to make an appointment within 30 days but he says staffing issues made that difficult and he and co-workers had been instructed by his superiors to manipulate patient appointments so you're talking today the next appointment is not until the first of June we would have to schedule that say the patient wanted to be seen in May so we can meet that 30-day timeline in other words if a patient called Ramirez februari eleventh to make an appointment it needed to be scheduled no later than mid-march but if a doctor wasn't available until June Ramirez would change the date range by entering am a date to meet the 30-day timeline and Ramirez says that wasn't the only tactic or workaround deemed unethical in this internal 2008 department affairs memo he saw co-workers ask patients if they were okay with an appointment scheduled months later a yes response was noted on the form the patient is giving the permission to go river on the 30 day but do they know that no Ramires says he and other co-workers knew it was wrong even spoke up to their supervisors but he says nothing changed it looked very bad it's like I'm really not helping the patient and in that bottom bothers a lot of people however most of them that couldn't take the pressure left a reason in part ramirez left in 2014 Pat McCoy a chief of clinical and for medics whose job it was to review medical records for care issues also started here when Valdez became a new patient Valdez also needed what the VA calls consults consultations required before moving patients into specialty services like orthopedics in mid-2009 in early 2010 McCoy discovered the VA had been in the practice of canceling or discontinuing consults because of staffing shortages and in the summer of 2010 she also found this there were several hundred orthopedic cases that were not put on any wait list at all they were on pieces of paper placed on a cast technicians desk and those two tactics stopped the console clock two possible scenarios to explain why Valdez's consults may have been canceled and so those folks were waiting for surgery and there was no way really to formalize how they were going to come on to the surgery schedule because their work they weren't on a wait list so that nobody really knew about them except for the orthopaedic staff McCoy reported the inappropriate tactics to top administrators at the Tucson VA the office of inspector general and Senator John McCain McCoy left in 2013 frustrated that little or no action was ever taken on any of her complaints over her last five years at the VA and Valdez he's not in the hospital for knee surgery it was finally scheduled last month but his doctor discovered Valdez has pancreatic cancer and that surgery took priority at this point he taking each day as it comes did the VA do its job no narrow notified I'm latina Valerie Cavazos caiga 9 on your site

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

Related Post