Agency: Improper wait list used for vets' mental health care

Agency: Improper wait list used for vets' mental health care

A watchdog arm of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday that the agency's Denver-area hospital violated department policy by keeping improper wait lists to track veterans' mental health care.

Investigators with the VA Office of Inspector General confirmed a whistleblower's claim that staff kept unauthorized lists instead of using the department's official wait list system. The report says that made it impossible to know if veterans who needed referrals for group therapy and other mental health care were getting timely care.

The internal investigation also criticized record-keeping in PTSD cases at the VA's facility in Colorado Springs. Investigators found that patients there often went longer than the department's stated goals of getting an initial consult within a week and treatment within 30 days.