WASHINGTON--Another U.S. Senator is expressing displeasure with the Department of Veterans Affairs, in the wake of new revelations about altered information related to patient wait times at V.A. hospitals.
"Any supervisor who has told an employee to falsify waiting list data at a V.A. hospital should be fired, period," said Sen. Tim Kaine, (D-Virginia).
Kaine was weighing in, following a USA Today report about an internal V.A. audit of more than 3,000 workers at more than 100 hospitals and clinics. The report showed that at the Hampton V.A. Medical Center, 15 percent of people who responded said they had been instructed by their bosses change records. "If you've got a supervisor telling people to falsify records, they need to be gone," Kaine added. "And so that is going to give us some significant areas where we've got to follow up about who at the V.A. at Hampton was doing that. We need to find which supervisors have done it and we need to remove them."
On Wednesday, fellow Virginia Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, also said he is disappointed, noting, "I think that's a total embarrassment to the system."
13 News Now has repeatedly asked for an on-camera interview with Hampton V.A. leadership. So far, the only thing that has been offered is an e-mailed statement. In it, Hampton V.A. Director Michael Dunfee observed that the percentage of employees saying there is a problem was "small." But, he went on to say: "Any area where there is a perception that we are not meeting our commitment to our veteran community is a concern, and the organization has been proactive in strengthening the consistency of our processes. As always, the Hampton VAMC stands committed to the delivery of the highest quality care for our veterans – for us there is no higher calling.”