(FOX News) -- An email obtained by Fox News Friday revealed that an employee at a Wyoming VA hospital instructed his workers to manipulate records to make it seem like patients were being seen within the agency’s required 14-day window, which he described as “gaming the system.”
Fox News has learned that the VA was informed of dubious scheduling practices at the Cheyenne VA Medical Center and at a community-based outpatient clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado, which is part of the Wyoming center, through an internal investigation in December 2013. The problems at and the investigation into the Fort Collins clinic were reported earlier this week.
However, the VA took no formal disciplinary action and did not order an independent probe into the matter until Friday, when Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said he learned of the email.
Now Rep. Jeff Miller, the chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, is questioning why if the VA learned there were problems in December, the agency is only taking action now. He said Shinseki’s actions are “faux outrage at its finest.”
The June email signed by an employee named David Newman, a Telehealth coordinator at the Cheyenne center, describes to the workers methods they can use to manipulate records in the patient appointment system to comply with a VA policy that requires patients be seen within 14 days of their desired date of appointment.
"Yes, it is gaming the system a bit," the email reads. "But you have to know the rules of the game you are playing, and when we exceed the 14-day measure, the front office gets very upset."