From a story by
After 17 years working as a registered nurse in the Tucson VA system, Diane Suter says she was taken aback when a manager first pressured her to falsely record patient wait times in 2014.
Suter, 62, had just started a new job scheduling patients at a Southern Arizona VA Health Care System primary care clinic on South Sixth Avenue. Wait times were often one to three months long, but revealing the true wait times in the computer system meant the doctor missed out on bonus pay, Suter’s nurse manager told her.
“She said, ‘Your appointments are over two weeks out and you’re costing your doctor money,’ ” Suter said. The manager showed her how to “zero out” wait times on their computerized scheduling system: Suter was told to input a patient’s desired appointment date as the same day as the scheduled appointment date, so it would appear there was no wait time, she said.
Suter complied after her manager strongly implied she’d be fired if she refused. But her dogged whistleblower complaints to VA regulators and legislators contributed to the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s decision to investigate the Tucson VA starting in April.
Sound familiar? These things just keep popping up…
Tucson VA spokesman Luke Johnson said in an email the practices described in the report “are inappropriate and are not consistent with our … core values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence.”
Does this also sound familiar?
Don Avant ·
Webmaster at Donavantwebsites.com
RE: “Doctors’ and nurses’ performance pay is no longer tied to wait times, Johnson said.”
I have no problem with performance pay being tied to wait times provided the wait times are HONESTLY REPORTED. By delinking performance times and performance pay you are actually removing any incentive DRs and Nurses have to work harder and reduce the wait times honestly…
RE: “Johnson encourages VA staff to speak up if unethical practices are still happening.”
I’ll believe that when I see elephants fly (outside of a Disney movie that is.). If you want to see how much the VA “encourages employees to come forward,” look at what happened to Suter. “After Suter objected to unethical scheduling practices, she suffered retaliation and a hostile work environment, leading her to leave the VA in August 2014 and seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, she said.” ( quote from the story )
RE: “The nurse manager who compelled her to falsify wait times still works at the Tucson VA, Suter said.”
Well, that’s hitting the nail right on the head. The perfect explanation for why these problems keep
reoccurring at the VA..NO ACCOUNTABILITY… The best cure for bad behavior is STR ( Swift and Terrible Retribution ) The problem was investigated and substantiated by the OIG. What happened? The perpetrator still works for the VA and the whistleblower has been hounded out of a job.
JUST PUBLISHED—JUST PUBLISHED—JUST PUBLISHED
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