Earlier today, the VA’s inspector general confirmed that 1,700 patients had been left off of the official waiting list for care at a Phoenix VA hospital, according to the New York Times. These veterans may not have received the medical care they need because they were missing from the real waiting list. Allegations against the Phoenix VA hospital indicate the existence of an unofficial waiting list that was kept secretly and that contained the actual number of veterans waiting for appointments.
Some families have claimed that their loved ones were kept off of official waiting lists, resulting in misdiagnosed and undiagnosed diseases, as well as delayed treatment for these diseases. These issues can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits, although it works a little differently when the malpractice involves the VA.
According to the NYTimes, the acting inspector general has suggested that these actions may have resulted in positive performance reviews of certain hospital personnel. By leaving thousands of patients off the official waiting list, the VA hospital could make it appear as though they were seeing patients in a timely manner, when in fact the demand for care was not being met.