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VA Medical Center In Indy Flagged For Further Review

Roudebush center on one in Indiana to face more investigation for patient wait times

The Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis (Dept. of Veterans Affairs)

The Veteran Affairs hospital in Indianapolis was flagged for further review on whether staff made patients wait too long for treatment.

The Roudebush Veteran Affairs Medical Center was one of 112 VA facilities in the country where wait times for patients will be investigated further after an intial audit of the agency's 731 medical centers. No other facilities in Indiana were flagged, though the Iliana VA Center in Danville, Illinois - which serves some patients from Indiana - will undergo further review. The audit was conducted after the VA found that 18 Arizona veterans had died while waiting for appointments at a VA clinic.

The VA's inspector general said in the report released Monday the facilities where more investigation was needed were singled out because auditors were worried about "inappropriate scheduling practices used by employees." Those practices include the use of written logs of appointment records rather than the VA's electronic system or being told by a supervisor to alter a patient's appointment record. The report says some VA staffers were also afraid to participate in the audit out of fear they could be punished.

The audit says six-percent of appointments at the Roudebush hospital were not scheduled within 30 days. That's slightly higher than the national VA center average of four-percent. The average wait time for a primary care appointment for new patients at the Indianapolis center was 54 days.

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