WHITE CITY, Ore. -- An Oregon VA hospital asked half of its employees to lie about patient wait times, according to a USA TODAY report.
A review of internal VA documents publicly released for the first time shows at least two other Oregon VA facilities also participated in the practice.
Outrageous, said Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) when KGW reached him on Capitol Hill.
The worst offender, according to the audit, is the VA Southern Oregon Rehab Center in White City. That s where 50 percent of the staff who were interviewed indicated being asked to falsify documents regarding patient wait times.
The VA Roseburg Healthcare System showed 30 percent of its employees were told to fudge the numbers.
This wasn t initiated by line staff. This was initiated at a much higher level than the Roseburg VA, DeFazio said. The secretary of the VA will have the authority to fire those employees for such egregious conduct.
In Portland, the numbers were significantly better. At the Portland VA medical center, 2.5 percent of employees reported being told to lie about patient appointments.
In all, USA Today found 109 VA facilities falsified data. The nationwide issue of long wait times and inaccurate patient scheduling information led to the resignation of the VA Secretary and an investigation into who was responsible for the directives.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would provide more funding for the VA, including $10 billion dollars that could be used for veterans to go outside the system. The bill still needs Senate approval.