Texas lawmakers call for VA investigation

Members of the Texas House delegation on Tuesday called for an inspector general investigation into three Veterans Affairs facilities that allegedly manipulated medical appointment data.

In a letter to Richard Griffin, the acting inspector general for the Department of Veterans Affairs, 24 members of the Texas delegation said reports that the facilities attempted to hide veterans' wait times warranted a probe.

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"This policy of falsifying medical records is dishonest, deceptive and injurious to veterans," the lawmakers wrote. "Swift action must be taken to protect the health and well-being of our nation's veterans."

Allegations have emerged that employees at the North Central Federal Clinic in San Antonio, the Austin Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic and the Waco Veterans Affairs Medical Center logged patients' requested appointment dates close with openings. The logs did not reflect that veterans in fact waited for months to get medical appointments.

The Texas representatives said that additional allegations of a secret waiting list at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., further underscored a national problem.

"The allegations of mismanagement and deception by the VA are especially troubling because of reports that at least 40 veterans died while waiting to receive care in Phoenix," they wrote.

The lawmakers also requested that the VA inspector general provide Congress with a report on the Texas facilities.

"We ask that you expeditiously and thoroughly investigate the claims regarding misconduct at these VA facilities and report your findings back to Congress," they wrote. "Any individuals found to have engaged in misconduct or mismanagement must face serious consequences."