Employees at a veterans medical clinic in Fort Collins were instructed to falsify records to make it appear that patients were getting appointments close to the day requested, government investigators said, but there is no indication that employees at the veterans medical clinic in Greeley did the same.
Workers at the Fort Collins clinic were told to make their records show that veterans got appointments within 14 days of the day requested, whether or not it was true, according to a December report by investigators from the Veterans Affairs Department’s medical branch.
Denver VA spokesman Daniel Warvi said employees have been retrained and weekly audits are being conducted at clinics under the purview of the Cheyenne VA Medical Center, which includes VA clinics in southeastern Wyoming, northern Colorado, and western Nebraska.
He said the Greeley outpatient clinic, 2001 70th Ave. No. 200, is one of the clinics being retrained and audited, and investigators have not found any issues with the Greeley clinic.
The investigation was first reported Monday by USA Today.
Investigators said they found no evidence that anyone’s health suffered because of the practice. They said the practice violated VA policy but did not break any laws.
The VA is already under criticism over allegations that up to 40 patients may have died because of delays in care at a veterans hospital in Phoenix. On Monday, the American Legion called for the resignations of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and two top aides.
The VA said Shinseki would not resign.
Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., chairman of the House subcommittee on Veterans Oversight and Investigations, also called on Shinseki to resign, citing the Phoenix allegations and cost overruns at a VA hospital under construction in Denver.
Coffman said the committee would hold hearings on the Phoenix hospital matter.
Warvi said no one was disciplined because the investigation found no deliberate misconduct.
“This was a training issue,” Warvi said in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Part of the investigative report provided to the AP was redacted, and it was not clear who instructed employees to falsify the records. The report said only that the instruction came from business office staff.
The employees who were told to falsify the records were not identified in the unredacted parts of the report.
Employees said their names appeared on a “bad boy” list if the records showed the appointments they scheduled were more than 14 days from the date the veteran requested.
The employees said they were told to make the records show that the date veterans requested for an appointment was the same date they requested.
— Staff Writer Casey Kelly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.