Report: More than 300,000 Veterans May Have Died Awaiting Health Care

A sign marks the entrance to the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital on May 30, 2014 in Hines, Illinois. Hines, which is located in suburban Chicago, has been linked to allegations that administrators kept secret waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals so hospital executives could collect bonuses linked to meeting …
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More than 300,000 veterans may have died before their applications for medical care filed in the Department of Veterans Affairs enrollment system were ever reviewed, according to a recent government report.

The Inspector General (IG) for the Department of Veterans Affairs found 307,000 out of 800,000 records that belonged to veterans who had died months and years prior, yet the records remained in the agency’s system.

The IG also found that VA employees had incorrectly marked applications for care that were unprocessed and could have possibly deleted more than 10,000 records over the past five years.

According to the report, a lack of procedures and oversight as well as software glitches contributed to the mismanagement and errors in regards to the recorded data.

The IG said the VA office that oversees enrollment “has not effectively managed its business processes to ensure the consistent creation and maintenance of essential data.”

CNN reported that the VA Deputy Inspector General Linda Halliday released a statement Wednesday saying whistleblowers “have proven to be a valuable information source to pursue accountability and corrective actions in VA programs.”

In another statement, Veterans Affairs writes that it “continues the efforts outlined in previous blogs and public responses to contact veterans with a record in a pending status … to determine if they desired to enroll in VA healthcare. We have been reaching out to veterans to let them know the additional information needed so that we may complete their application.”


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