Veteranclaims’s Blog

August 17, 2010

Veterans’ Medical Exams Recall Notification Errors, Portland-VA, VAOIG Report

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 5:45 pm

Veterans Health Administration Review of Alleged Use of Unauthorized Wait Lists at the Portland VA Medical Center

Report Number 10-01857-225, 8/17/2010

This review determined the validity of an allegation that senior officials in Veterans Integrated Service Network 20 (VISN) instructed employees at the Portland VA Medical Center to use unauthorized wait lists to hide access and scheduling problems.

Although we did not substantiate the allegation, we did find that the Portland VA Medical Center’s automated recall system failed to generate and distribute postcards to over 2,900 patients that remind them to call the medical center and schedule their follow-up eye appointments. This resulted in an average delay in care of 128 days. To address this issue, Portland VA Medical Center staff stated that in September 2009, they revised the reminder postcards to enable the recall system to print the postcards and started monitoring transmission reports to ensure the recall system mailed the postcards.

We recommended that the VISN Director ensure that the Portland VA Medical Center Director reexamine the list of patients that did not receive a reminder postcard and ensure each patient was contacted to remind them to schedule their follow-up care. The VISN Director and Portland VA Medical Center Director agreed with our findings and recommendations and stated they have scheduled or seen all patients that did not receive a reminder postcard.

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