An audit by the Veterans Affairs health care network in the Southwest shows officials knew years ago that employees were manipulating data on doctor appointments.
The Arizona Republic reports that officials failed to stop the practice despite a national directive.
The 2012 audit found hospitals and clinics in Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas chronically violated department policy and created inaccurate data on patient wait times using a variety of methods.
In New Mexico, schedulers would sometimes cancel appointments and remake them to reflect acceptable wait times. The Albuquerque Journal reports details of the rigged scheduling were among the findings of an investigation trigged in 2013 by a whistleblower complaint.
Allegations that dozens of veterans died while awaiting appointments at the Phoenix VA medical center first triggered the national uproar over the VA.
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