Paper: Email Alerted VA Leader of Schedule Concern

Jul 11, 2014

A newspaper reports that emails it obtained show the director of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System learned of concerns about patient scheduling issues in April 2013 -- more than eight months before action was taken.

Director James Talton tells The Montgomery Advertiser that he was unable to take action on any "ambiguous statements" staff members emailed him about scheduling problems.

A June audit by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General showed that employees in the central Alabama system had manipulated records to conceal long waiting periods for veterans seeking medical care.

Talton said the first time he received anything he could take action on was in late December, when an employee brought to his attention paper waiting lists staff used to keep track of patients seeking appointments.