Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson plans to look closely at VA clinic scheduling practices. (VA)
The Veterans Affairs Department will be conducting monthly in-person reviews of scheduling practices in every clinic it oversees, according to a June 18 announcement by acting secretary Sloan Gibson.
Widespread reports of falsified wait lists and improper scheduling practices has sparked an inspector general investigation, the resignation of former VA secretary Eric Shinseki and a flurry of legislation that would make it easier to fire senior management and reform the VA health care system.
The VA inspections will include observing daily scheduling processes and talking with scheduling staff to make sure all policies are being followed, Gibson said.
“We need our folks in the facilities to work directly with staff, answer all questions, and ensure our Veterans receive the timely care they have earned. Veterans must trust their health care system, and these reviews are an important step towards restoring integrity in all our scheduling activities,” Gibson said.
Gibson has also promised VA employees that whistleblowers will not face harassment or punishment for reporting misbehavior in the department. The promise comes as the Office of Special Counsel investigates 37 reports of retaliation against agency employees across facilities in 19 states.