Elmhurst Patch –
CHICAGO — Federal auditors descended on Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital on Wednesday, just one day after a CBS News report alleging manipulation of waiting lists for patient care.
These “secret waiting lists,” a whistleblower told CBS News, make the numbers look better and allow hospital executives to collect bonus money.
“Employees are coming to me from all over the hospital, from outpatient, inpatient, surgery, radiology,” said Germaine Clarno, VA social worker and employee representative, suggesting that the practice is widespread.
The hospital reports that it provides medical care to more than 50,000 Chicago-area veterans in a year.
According to Clarno, this is how the scam works: When a veteran calls the hospital for an appointment, the veteran is placed on the secret list. An actual appointment in the computer would not be booked until an opening would arise within a 14-day window.
Clarno told CBS she believes people are faking the wait-time data to receive bonuses.