Phoenix VA Scheme Exposed: 40 Veterans on “Secret Waiting List” Died While Waiting for Care

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Top Tier Gear USA


Long waiting times for appointments have led to the deaths of at least 40 veterans who were patients at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Many of those veterans were placed on a “secret waiting list” that was part of a scheme designed to hide how long patients actually had to wait for appointments. An estimated 1,400 to 1,600 veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor.

A recently retired top VA doctor and other high-level sources helped CNN expose the scheme:

Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments:

There’s an “official” list that’s shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there’s the real list that’s hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.

“The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA’s own internal rules,” said Foote in Phoenix. “They developed the secret waiting list,” said Foote, a respected local physician.

Foote said the VA requires its hospitals to provide timely care to patients, usually within 14 – 30 days.

He said evidence was shredded in order to hide the long list of veterans waiting for care. VA officials also told staff not to schedule appointments in the computer system:

“They enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there’s no record that you were ever here.”

That hard copy, if you will, that has the patient demographic information is then taken and placed onto a secret electronic waiting list, and then the data that is on that paper is shredded.”

So the only record that you have ever been there requesting care was on that secret list. And they wouldn’t take you off that secret list until you had an appointment time that was less than 14 days so it would give the appearance that they were improving greatly the waiting times, when in fact they were not.”

Foote said the wait times that were reported to authorities in Washington were completely made up:

“So then when they did that, they would report to Washington, ‘Oh yeah. We’re makin’ our appointments within — within 10 days, within the 14-day frame,’ when in reality it had been six, nine, in some cases 21 months.”

CNN also reported that emails they obtained show that Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman knew about the secret list and the actual wait times, and even defended its use to her staff.

Foote has sent letters to officials at the VA Office of the Inspector General to report the secret electronic waiting list and the large number of veterans who died waiting for care. He and other sources told CNN that the IG has interviewed them about the scheme.

U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee in Washington chairman, Rep. Jeff Miller, has been investigating delays in care at veterans hospitals. Congress has now ordered all records in Phoenix be preserved for an upcoming investigation.

Here is the CNN report, which includes an interview with family members of Navy veteran Thomas Breen, who died of stage four bladder cancer while waiting on the secret list for an appointment:

Will these problems start to be seen outside of the VA system once Obamacare is in full swing? It’s hard to believe things like this are happening in America, and many fear that it is going to get much, much worse since the passing of the Affordable “Care” Act.

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Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.

Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”

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  • whitefeather

    Totally Discusting!!! Patty Murray in my state runs on veterans benefits, especially VA hospitals. She signed off on a budget that reduces Vet benefits, but got a VA built in Walla Walla. In other words she comes off looking good for getting it built, but has worked to defund the very same facility, which goes unnoticed……

  • cold340t

    Sounds like the “Death Panels” have been in effect since before OBama 🙂

  • Decades long problem. VA is the 2nd place for vets to give their lives. Disgusting pukes in DC.

  • Wolve Rine

    Wow, Dr. Foote it only took you 24 years, at the same VA hospital, in the same city, before you had the stones to expose this.
    You recieve no pat on the back or applause from me.
    You don’t get off the hook.
    Thanks for nothing douche!

  • Sir TuberKopf

    Have no fear attorney general Holder will get right on this and convict the perpetrators who are murdering people through a scheme to fraudulently operate federal VA hospitals.

    No doubt Holder would be appalled and sickened to know that federal employees would victimize the sick and helpless.

    We might even see Obama read something to this effect off of a TelePrompTer!

    Oh yeah, dripping sarcasm was intended throughout.

  • BellsNwhistles

    VA care is very good, timely and thrifty. Some procedures back up in some care centers but often a civilian alternate is available. The care responds to the vets own efforts to be on time and to administer the meds as prescribed. Waite times reflect the clinics attitude of take as much time as you need with the doctors. The human effort has no equal when the customer base is considered, most of society rapidly forgets our nations Veterans.