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VA Clinic’s ‘Secret’ Waiting List for Eyecare Patients Leads to Employee Discipline

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The veterans sought ‘technology-based eye care services.’

A waiting list for a certain eyecare service has led to discipline for some employees at an Roanoke, NE, Veterans Affairs clinic.

VA officials say employees kept a “secret” list of 56 patients who expressed interest in a program called “technology-based eye care services,” the Omaha World-Herald reports. In the program, they would have photos taken of their eyes and have pressures measured at the clinic using new equipment, and doctors located elsewhere would check for problems.

But the clinic wasn’t yet ready to provide the service — the machine was late in arriving, and there was no one trained to operate it. 

Investigators from within the VA determined that the staff wrote a list of interested patients; it was found in a drawer.

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VA rules allow for only one authorized list, and it must be computerized, the World-Herald explains. 

Appropriate options would have included sending the veterans to a clinic where the service was being offered or allowing them to obtain the service from a private provider via the Veterans Choice program, said Don Burman, director of VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System.

It’s not clear how many workers were punished, or what discipline was handed out, according to the newspaper.

Unauthorized waiting lists have been a highly publicized issue in the VA healthcare system over the past few years, with reports of veterans not receiving prompt care.

Read more at the Omaha World-Herald

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