Wednesday, June 25, 2014

VA Scandal Whistleblower Speaks Out

CNN reported yesterday: "VA deaths covered up to make statistics look better, whistle-blower says".

One horrifying excerpt:
Beginning early last year, DeWenter said she was also instructed to hide the crisis at the Phoenix VA medical center by concealing new requests for treatment. This was at a time when the VA was paying bonuses to senior staff whose facilities met the goals of providing care in a timely manner for veterans, typically within 14 days.

New requests by veterans wanting treatment were actually stuffed into a drawer, to make the books look better, according to DeWenter.

Asked what happened to the new requests for appointments, DeWenter said: "They went into a desk drawer.... That would be the secret list."

There was "no doubt" it was, in fact, a secret list, she said.
Another excerpt:
But at least seven times since last October, records that showed that veterans died while waiting for care -- records which DeWenter personally handled and had entered in details of veterans' deaths -- were physically altered, or written over, by someone else, DeWenter said in an exclusive interview with CNN. The changes, or re-writes, listed the veterans as living, not deceased, essentially hiding their deaths.

The alterations had even occurred in recent weeks, she said, in a deliberate attempt to try to hide just how many veterans died while waiting for care, by trying to pretend dead veterans remain alive.

"Because by doing that, that placed (the veterans) back on the wait list," said DeWenter, explaining she believes that the purpose of "bringing them back to life" in the paperwork and putting the veterans back on the electronic waiting list was to hide the fact that veterans died waiting for care.
I applaud her and other brave whistleblowers for speaking out.  I hope those responsible for setting such apparently criminal policies are held fully accountable.

And a couple of other related stories;

The Denver Post has also picked up the story of Robert LeChevalier and Monica Hughes.

Anders Ingemarson offers "A Prescription For Curing VA Care".