VA audit report reveals inadequacies, lack of leadership - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

VA audit report reveals inadequacies, lack of leadership

Posted: Updated:
The VA audit was a scathing report that begins with inadequacies, a lack of leadership and the resignation of Eric Shinseki. (Source: WTAE/CNN) The VA audit was a scathing report that begins with inadequacies, a lack of leadership and the resignation of Eric Shinseki. (Source: WTAE/CNN)

(WTAE/CNN) – In a damning audit released Friday, the Veterans Affairs department outlined concerns of "questionable scheduling practices" that signaled "a systemic lack of integrity."

The audit found that schedulers were pressured to use improper practices that made waiting times look shorter.

What's more, the audit found that the benchmark the VA created to get veterans quicker care backfired. The goal of having a veteran wait no more than 14 days for an appointment was "simply not attainable."

Putting the target in place without needed resources, represented a "leadership failure," the audit said.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki presented the interim report to President Obama before resigning Friday.

When he announced Shinseki's resignation, the president asked a question left unanswered by the audit.

"How is it that in a number of these facilities, it, in fact, we have veterans who are waiting too long for an appointment, that information didn't surface sooner that we could go ahead and fix it," Obama said in his press conference Friday.

CNN has been reporting on delays in care since November, and the office of the Inspector General issued numerous reports over the past few years.

In what was to be his last public appearance as secretary, Shinseki apologized to veterans, lawmakers and the public.

"That breach of integrity is irresponsible it is indefensible and unacceptable to me. I said when this situation began weeks to months ago and I thought the problem was limited and isolated because I believed that. I no longer believe that. It is systemic," Shinseki said.

A fact underlined by Congressman Mike Doyle's findings Thursday night that some of the nearly 700 veterans on a primary care waiting list at the Pittsburgh VA have been waiting for appointments since 2012.

"We're not finished by a long shot; we still have a long way to go," Rep. Doyle, D-PA, said. "If this is a systemic problem which many of us fear it is, then we need a review from top to bottom and people need to be held accountable. We need to make sure veterans get the health care they have earned."

The audit found the biggest barrier to getting care was a lack of doctor availability. A close second was trying to shoehorn vets into the 14-day appointment window.

The two combined really made it difficult for veterans to get the care they needed.

Copyright 2014 WTAE via CNN. All rights reserved.

  • Inside WECT.comMore>>

  • Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigns

    VA Secretary Gen. Eric Shinseki resigns

    Friday, May 30 2014 1:15 PM EDT2014-05-30 17:15:49 GMT
    An inspector general's report detailed incorrect scheduling procedures throughout the VA hospital system, increasing pressure from Congress calling for Shinseki's resignation.More >>
    An inspector general's report detailed incorrect scheduling procedures throughout the VA hospital system, increasing pressure from Congress calling for Shinseki's resignation.More >>
Powered by WorldNow