Dem demands that VA release more information

 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Monday demanded that the Department of Veterans Affairs release more information on audits it has conducted of 216 VA facilities.

In a letter to acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson, Blumenthal said all 216 site-specific audits should be released, instead of merely the interim report that he said summarized the site visits.

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"The report is an overall summary of site visits, interviews and other fact-finding by the audit teams, but the site audit reports for specific locations and facilities should be made public immediately,” wrote Blumenthal, who’s especially concerned about misconduct at VA facilities in Connecticut.   

Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said disclosing the information is “vital to restoring trust and confidence in the integrity and capability of the VA’s health care system.” 

Former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned on Friday after he presented the findings of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) summary report to President Obama.

The report found widespread evidence that veterans were waiting much longer for treatment than what the VA had officially recorded.

“Of the 216 site audit reports, many were flagged for further review because of concerns identified by the site audit team about questionable scheduling practices, signaling a systemic lack of integrity within some Veterans Health Administration facilities," the report said.

Blumenthal urged Gibson to release the individual audits “without delay” even if the agency had already planned to disclose the documents.