VA reaching out to vets over backlogs

Updated: Friday, July 4 2014, 08:10 AM EDT
 VA reaching out to vets over backlogs story image
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has reached out to nearly 140,000 vets in the past two months, to get them off waiting lists and into clinics for medical appointments.

Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson revealed the number as the VA released new figures showing improved patient access to VA hospitals and clinics nationwide.

Meanwhile, Congressman Jeff Miller, the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, says bonuses created the incentive for officials to hide those wait times.

"I think that we're gonna find the more we investigate, you're gonna see where folks decided that they were going to try to game the system, fudge the numbers if you will, cook the books, in order to get bonuses," said Rep. Miller.

In some cases, bonuses went to executives despite documented problems.

A list from the House VA Committee shows there were $2.8 million in bonuses.

More than $9,000 went to the VA director in Phoenix, where 18 patients died while on secret lists, waiting for appointments.

That bonus has since been rescinded, and she has been suspended.

VA reaching out to vets over backlogs
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