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VA Audit Finds ‘Leadership Failure’

At least 57,000 veterans nationwide have experienced wait times of 90 days or more for their first medical appointments, according to an audit of 731 VA hospitals and clinics released Monday by the Department of Veterans Affairs. An alarming 13 percent of VA employees interviewed said they were told to falsify records so wait times would appear shorter.

The report says the system-wide goal of a 14-day appointment wait time is no longer possible because of the high health care demand from veterans. It called the 2011 decision to create that goal and base bonus pay on meeting it "an organizational leadership failure."

In addition to ending that target wait time, the audit included a list of 15 other actions the VA plans to take to address the problems, including publishing wait time data twice a month, halting new hires at the Veterans Health Administration and holding employees more accountable for falsifying data.

By: Avery Kleinman
Beth Daley Impact Fellow, POGO

Avery Kleinman At the time of publication Avery Kleinman was the Beth Daley Impact Fellow for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Government Accountability

Related Content: Veterans Affairs

Authors: Avery Kleinman

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