Recent reports have highlighted the case of a 24-year-old Marine from Minnesota who died in November 2012 while in the midst of a 70-day wait for an appointment to treat his epilepsy 

Klobuchar has previously pressed the VA Inspector General over concerns about delays in care, falsified records, and other system failures affecting the VA and their potential impact on Minnesota veterans

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today called on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) to conduct an investigation into allegations of falsified patient records at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. Recent reports have highlighted the case of a 24-year-old Marine from Minnesota who died in November 2012 while in the midst of a 70-day wait for an appointment to treat his epilepsy. Klobuchar has previously pressed the VA Inspector General over concerns about delays in care, falsified records, and other system failures affecting the VA and their potential impact on Minnesota veterans.

“This case appears to be an egregious example of manipulating scheduling practices to conceal excessive wait times that put veterans’ lives at risk,” Klobuchar wrote in a letter to Acting VA Inspector General Richard J. Griffin. “I understand that your office has been investigating the Minneapolis VA Health Care System in light of reports of improper scheduling and possible retaliation against VA employees who raised concerns. I ask that you pay particular attention to this case in the course of your investigation and determine whether the length of time Mr. Buisman was forced to wait as a result of manipulated scheduling data contributed to his death.”

The full text of Klobuchar’s letter Acting Inspector General Richard J. Griffin is below:

Dear Mr. Griffin:

I write again to urge you to quickly and thoroughly investigate allegations of falsified patient records at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System. I have previously written to you regarding my concerns about possible delays in care, falsified records, and other systemic failures affecting VA health care facilities nationwide and their potential impact on Minnesota veterans. Recent media reports have highlighted the case of 24-year-old Marine veteran Jordan Buisman, who died in November 2012 while in the midst of a 70-day wait for a neurology appointment to treat his epilepsy. According to the VA’s records, Mr. Buisman contacted the VA four days after his death to cancel and reschedule his appointment.

This case appears to be an egregious example of manipulating scheduling practices to conceal excessive wait times that put veterans’ lives at risk. I understand that your office has been investigating the Minneapolis VA Health Care System in light of reports of improper scheduling and possible retaliation against VA employees who raised concerns. I ask that you pay particular attention to this case in the course of your investigation and determine whether the length of time Mr. Buisman was forced to wait as a result of manipulated scheduling data contributed to his death. I also ask that you ensure the Department of Justice is fully involved and informed of any possible criminal conduct uncovered by this investigation.

A full investigation of all reported mismanagement or mistreatment of veterans is essential to the process of restoring the confidence of veterans, their families, and the American people in the VA health care system. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

 

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