Thousands of orders for diagnostic medical tests have been purged en masse by the Department of Veterans Affairs to make it appear its decade-long backlog is being eliminated, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.
About 40,000 appointments were “administratively closed” in Los Angeles, and another 13,000 were cancelled in Dallas in 2012.
That means the patients did not receive the tests or treatment that had been ordered, but rather the orders for the follow-up procedures were simply deleted from the agency’s records.
It is not known how widespread the practice is, or how many veterans hospitals have mass-purged appointment orders to clear their backlogs.
Agency officials refused an Examiner request for documents describing when the practice began or how many appointments have been canceled.