Investigation: Patient visits were properly scheduled at Louisvi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Investigation: Patient visits were properly scheduled at Louisville VA facilities

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Workers at the Robley Rex VA Medical Center and an outpatient clinic on Dupont Circle correctly scheduled appointments at the facilities, according to a review of wait times by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The agency’s inspector general launched the investigations after it received allegations that scheduling data at the medical center was being manipulated, and audit data at the clinic had been falsified.

At issue is how long veterans must wait for health care appointments, such as surgeries.

Two employees at the Louisville medical center on Zorn Avenue alleged they were told by a training specialist to use dates different than those requested by patients “in order to show a reduction in wait times and avoid scrutiny” in internal reports, documents show.

The training specialist claimed a supervisor was telling the employees to use the different dates. But in interviews with investigators, workers said they were not instructed to change the dates. The supervisor said he believed that “ultimately, he and the training specialist were giving … the same information, but were simply explaining it differently.”

The supervisor said at least one worker may have been confused about the instructions.

The allegations at the outpatient clinic involved an employee who changed a spreadsheet column, but that the change “was the result of a difference of interpretation between two supervisors and was found to have no effect on the scheduled appointment’s desired date or appointment wait times,” the investigation found.

A Louisville-based VA spokeswoman did not immediately respond to email and phone messages seeking comment.

The agency has investigated wait times at facilities in 23 states after allegations in April 2014 that wait times were being manipulated in the VA system in Phoenix. It has completed more than 70 criminal investigations.

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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