Former VA workers claim patient records were falsified
Patrick Kelly Columbia South Carolina VA hospital Office of Inspector General Michael Gross X-Files Minneapolis VA medical center individual patient tracking system missile launch whistle blowers digging deeper local leaders Rochester Libya USA today South Carolina Cleveland Georgia France Washington
Minnesota VA employees say they were told to fake records showing veterans declined treatment when the patients had never even been contacted.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
00:03 I said that if we found misconduct it would be
00:05 punished and I meant it. As the secret Wheatley scandal unfolded.
00:09 Our veterans deserve better local leaders assured people. There is no
00:13 wait listed the best of anyone's knowledge in Minnesota it's not
00:17 a problem here have -- been allegations there have you seen
00:20 evidence of that here and Minneapolis no. Patrick Kelly is the
00:24 director of the VA medical center here in Minneapolis one of
00:27 the biggest and top ranked -- hospitals in the entire country
00:31 I am not aware and I don't believe that -- are
00:33 any weightless in use here in Minneapolis but some Minneapolis VA
00:36 employees have a different story they say. They need to tell.
00:40 And my family members are veterans but. They should know what
00:44 actually what's going on the VA. Until recently these two women
00:47 Heather Ross -- a medical support assistant and -- Alonso a
00:50 supervisor both worked in the gastroenterology. Department at the Minneapolis VA.
00:55 And they're not pro out of what they say happened there
00:58 I mean it. I had to do with it told you
01:03 knew this was wrong. Warm Brandon tonight for the first time
01:06 they're speaking out. And I feel like they need to be
01:09 X-Files. -- with. For what's really going. Keeping blacks who are
01:14 being -- us. And yet. The women tell us -- gastroenterology
01:18 department was in charge of scheduling colonoscopy. To detect cancer --
01:22 Full care for doctor spotted problems. Important follow ups too often
01:28 delayed. I -- one with bleeding porn sex thing. With no
01:32 action with my -- Or even worse basic care that was
01:36 never even schedule a -- -- marketing -- Altogether to keep
01:41 evidence of delays in Minneapolis out of Vista the PA's official
01:45 chronicle record tracking system the -- claim a supervisor ordered them
01:49 to keep a secret patient waiting list. They have the flu
01:52 is that they -- both know kind of hidden just --
01:55 it couldn't be decided it wouldn't even be in the system
01:57 at all their first time they're story may seem hard to
02:00 believe but when we started digging deeper. We discovered the exact
02:03 same thing has been happening NBA centers across the country. Sometimes
02:08 with fatal result. Yeah. This is the -- and centering Columbia,
02:11 South Carolina the PA's Office of Inspector General investigated delays in
02:16 care in the gastroenterology. Department there. Including cases of malignant sees.
02:21 And this -- report from April this year felt similar delays
02:25 contributed to deaths and a dozen other VA facilities nationwide. In
02:30 all says 23 patients have passed away you are currently constructed.
02:36 Who asked. These whistle blowers in Minneapolis say the cover up
02:42 goes way beyond a secret wait time list. In their official
02:46 report to the VA's Office of Inspector General. They claim they
02:50 were actually order default supply patient records told the write down
02:54 that veterans who refused treatment when they hadn't even been contacted.
02:59 But they right now. You had a positive Paula I would
03:03 turn around and sometimes instructed by my manager. Say notified patient
03:08 patient -- for the treatment. And future now patient when you
03:12 know you know. The patients never even been notified of the
03:16 Cleveland. This report issued just a few weeks ago says something
03:20 similar happened at a VA hospital in Georgia the Office of
03:23 Inspector General found more than 600 patients there had their cases
03:28 improperly batch closed. The VA's way of saying they were closed
03:32 Campbell we have now been seen. If not like I just
03:35 sat there and did nothing about it I try and. Before
03:38 contacting us letting Alonso says she tried to warn top BA
03:42 managers. Internal emails seem to backer claim. On May 27 --
03:47 Jones ladies mentor at the VA thanks VA patient advocate Michael
03:51 Gross France and chief of staff doctor can't cross -- for
03:54 listening to missile launch those issues including. Delayed console that could
03:59 involve light. Threatening issues a week later another email from Jones
04:04 saying. What are the patients was noted as having cancer symptoms.
04:08 You sure as hell better hurry in to something or have
04:11 something done asap -- -- -- can take that all the
04:14 -- actor in this email dated June 4. Ernest Jones tells
04:18 lady. I called -- and he's going to tell the director
04:22 so be prepared for smoke and fire. When we showed in
04:25 the emails director Patrick Kelly that same man who told us
04:29 there hadn't been allegations of secret wait lists here. Acknowledged lady
04:33 did report problems. With allegations of consoles being delayed or never
04:38 being done did you know about this and it tells what
04:42 if anything was done. I was aware that she had identified
04:46 this -- an issue to our patient advocate. And our patient
04:50 advocate and our chief of staff. Reviewed those so what happened.
04:56 The very next day the VA hand delivered this letter to
04:59 Libya Alonso saying she was being fired for what she calls
05:04 trumped up charges. Patrick Kelly says the timing was just a
05:07 coincidence details says he can't discuss the details of Woody's case.
05:11 But he says -- claims about wait times were not verified
05:15 the allegation was unfounded. Unsubstantiated. What they thoroughly investigated. I'm certain
05:27 that they were although I don't I can't tell you that
05:29 I know specifically what they were so what's the truth in
05:33 last month our partners USA today uncovered internal BA documents exposing
05:37 allegations of scheduling fraud. Similar to -- and other described serious
05:42 enough to warrant more investigation at 109. VA medical centers across
05:47 the country. Including Minneapolis and Rochester. That investigation is underway frankly
05:52 I welcome the revealer while wanna know what we're dealing well.
05:56 And that'll help me to address it more. Comprehensively candidate had
06:00 veterans completely falling to crack down. And I'm -- to start.
06:06 It would be illegal for the women to show us copies
06:08 of individual patient records but they've already contacted federal investigators in
06:13 Washington to report what they've seen. And tell them where to
06:16 look. Are there people out there right now. That. Medical tests
06:22 showing they have cancer that don't know because they were yes