OMAHA, Neb. — Documents say employees maintained a secret waiting list of veterans for some Omaha mental health appointments.
The Omaha World-Herald reports that a compliance officer’s memo to the director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System says the list dodged VA requirements for establishing and maintaining waiting lists. The compliance officer’s audit included two whistleblower complaints made about lists for appointments at the VA’s mental health psychotherapy clinic in Omaha.
The VA acknowledges the audit but won’t answer questions about it. It also says no veterans were harmed. The VA set up strict requirements for establishing waiting lists following a 2014 scandal that showed VA employees were covering up chronic delays with false paperwork and secret lists.
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse is asking the Department of Veterans Affairs for answers about the secret lists.
“The existence of a secret list … is shocking,” said Sasse, “and the VA’s refusal to answer questions about it is unacceptable and must be remedied immediately.”