Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Veterangate: VA whistleblower says records of deceased vets were altered

The Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center is pictured in Phoenix, Arizona (Reuters / Samantha Sais)
The Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center is pictured in Phoenix, Arizona (Reuters / Samantha Sais)
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Speaking during an interview with CNN that aired Monday, scheduling clerk Pauline DeWenter of the Phoenix, Arizona veterans facility said she has “surrendered evidence” to the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealing that vets were not only placed on a secret waiting list for the purposes of maintaining the illusion that patients were receiving timely care, but also that those who died waiting for appointments had their records changed to indicate they were still alive.
According to DeWenter, there were at least seven different occasions in which the records of deceased veterans were altered. Originally, she documented the details of a veteran’s death only to find her work written over by another individual. This practice had even occurred as recently as a few weeks ago, she said, amid investigations into whether or not delayed medical appointments really did result in fatalities.
To DeWenter, the reason for the doctored records was clear: Someone wanted to place the deceased veterans back on the electronic waiting list so that it looked like they were still alive.
"I would say (it was done to) hide the fact. Because it is marked a death. And that death needs to be reported,” she told CNN. “So if you change that to, 'entered in error' or, my personal favorite, 'no longer necessary,' that makes the death go away. So the death would never be reported then."