Minnesota Delegation Requests Meeting With VA Secretary to Discuss Reports of Falsified Records at Minneapolis VA Health Care System

Oct 2, 2014 Issues: Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Representatives Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, John Kline, Michele Bachmann, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, Erik Paulsen, and Rick Nolan requested a meeting with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald to discuss recent reports of falsified records at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. The VA Inspector General’s office is currently investigating allegations of falsified records and manipulation of scheduling data that may have put veterans’ lives at risk. In a letter, the delegation requested a meeting with Secretary McDonald to discuss the findings of that investigation once it’s completed to help ensure steps are taken to correct problems and punish any wrongdoing.

“We are deeply troubled by serious allegations of falsified records and manipulation of scheduling data at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System,” the delegation wrote. “These allegations are currently under investigation by the VA Inspector General and the Department of Justice. We request that you meet with us at the conclusion of this important investigation to discuss its findings and the steps you are taking to ensure any wrongdoing is appropriately punished and that Minnesota veterans are receiving the highest quality care without undue delays.”

The full text of the delegation’s letter is below:

Dear Secretary McDonald:

We are deeply troubled by serious allegations of falsified records and manipulation of scheduling data at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System. According to media reports, these inappropriate practices have caused delays in care that put lives at risk and in at least one case may have contributed to the death of a young Marine veteran. In addition, VA employees who raised concerns may have been retaliated against by their superiors.

These allegations are currently under investigation by the VA Inspector General and the Department of Justice. We have urged them to proceed as quickly and thoroughly as possible so that any mismanagement or mistreatment of veterans is identified and eliminated and anyone responsible can be held to account.

We request that you meet with us at the conclusion of this important investigation to discuss its findings and the steps you are taking to ensure any wrongdoing is appropriately punished and that Minnesota veterans are receiving the highest quality care without undue delays. Since your confirmation, we have greatly appreciated your commitment to increasing transparency and accountability within the Department. We believe that the opportunity to discuss our concerns about the VA in Minnesota with you is essential to the process of restoring the trust of our state’s veterans and their families in the VA health care system.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.