Nebraska VA hospital put 87 patients on secret waiting list to receive delayed care

Omaha (Neb.) VA Medical Center used an unauthorized waiting list for psychotherapy appointments that delayed care for 87 patients in 2017, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Department of Veterans Affairs officials, who confirmed the news Friday, said "training deficiencies" caused the hospital's medical support assistants to incorrectly mange the VA's electronic waiting list.

The veterans on the list received other care — such as substance abuse treatment, inpatient treatment and counseling — while waiting for psychotherapy appointments. It is not clear whether the veterans were aware of the care delays.

In a letter to Senator Ben Sasse, R-Neb., the VA said one employee involved with the list retired and another resigned, although no one was fired. The VA also said no employees received bonuses for performance data implicated in an investigation of the list.

VA officials are still investigating whether other lower-ranking employees at the VA's Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System were involved with the list.

"Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if warranted," VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, said in the letter to Mr. Sasse, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

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