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Montana VA Health Care System

 

VA OIG releases report on Fort Harrison wait times

December 21, 2016

Fort Harrison, Mont. – The VA Office of Inspector General released a summary, dated Dec. 20, of its investigation into allegations regarding patient wait times at the Fort Harrison VA Medical Center.

The report was posted to the OIG’s website on Dec. 21.

“The focus of this report’s investigation was exclusively on allegations made in 2014 and does not reflect current management or clinical operations at the Fort Harrison VA Medical Center," said Dr. William Campbell, interim Chief of Staff for the VA Montana Health Care System.

Two allegations related to written wait lists and manipulation of patient desired dates were identified and, in most cases, corrected prior to or shortly after the OIG’s investigation began.

The report found a third allegation related to the improper closing of patient consults to be unfounded.

According to the report, the VA’s Office of Accountability Review (OAR) began a review of the OIG’s initial findings in February 2016.

The OAR completed a subsequent accountability investigation into this matter and made findings consistent with the OIG’s report. The OAR investigation recommended administrative action to be considered by the facility related to the improper changes to patient desired date information.

The local facility is currently working with local counsel to determine what administrative action may be appropriate.

“VA Montana has conducted a mortality review of every enrolled Veteran death for over 10 years,” said Mike Garcia, public affairs officer for the Montana VA. “No deaths have ever been attributed to wait times within the VA Montana Health Care System.”