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Ernst, Grassley Seek Answers from Veterans Administration on Additional Unauthorized Waitlists

November 22, 2017
Speical to tamatoledonews.com , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

WASHINGTON U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding a recent report in the Omaha World-Herald that details unauthorized waiting lists outside of the VA patient tracking system for some mental health appointments that date back to 2006.

The letter follows a recentletter from the Iowa Senators to VA Secretary Shulkin regarding a similar report of waitlists dating back to 2014. While they received a response regarding corrective actions in place, the letter today requests that the ongoing investigation include the reports of unauthorized waitlists in 2006.

"As we stated in our first letter, it is important for veterans and taxpayers to know what disciplinary measures are being applied," Senators Ernst and Grassley wrote. "We request that you keep us informed on how the Department of Veterans Affairs plans to hold culpable individuals accountable to ensure that this situation will not reoccur and the extent to which the scope of the VA's ongoing investigation will include the older waitlists."

The full text of the letter:

November 21, 2017

The Honorable David Shulkin

Secretary

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Washington, D.C. 20420

Dear Secretary Shulkin:

Last month, we wrote to you seeking information on unauthorized waiting lists outside the VA patient tracking system for some mental health appointments at the VA facility in Omaha. We appreciated your prompt response and were glad to hear that corrective action is being taken so this does not happen again.

Our first letter was prompted by a report that found some wait lists dating back to 2014. A recent report in the Omaha World-Herald, however, found that there was a previous use of unauthorized waitlists dating back to 2006. This report indicated that there were corrective actions taken previously, which were apparently not entirely successful in that the use of unauthorized waitlists reoccurred. As we stated in our first letter, it is important for veterans and taxpayers to know what disciplinary measures are being applied. We request that you keep us informed on how the Department of Veterans Affairs plans to hold culpable individuals accountable to ensure that this situation will not reoccur and the extent to which the scope of the VA's ongoing investigation will include the older waitlists.

Thank you for your attention. Please respond by December 1, 2017.

 
 

 

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