Politics

Kansas City VA Admits To Keeping Secret Waiting Lists Of Veterans

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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS St. Louis/AP) – Managers of the VA Medical Center in Kansas City confirm they kept a secret waiting list of veterans who needed care.

The admission comes after Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, revealed the existence of a list of 37 heart patients who were not entered into the VA’s appointment system but kept in a secret file.

“These so-called ‘unauthorized wait lists’ for America’s heroes are simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Blunt said in a statement. “I’m going to do everything I can to ensure this stops immediately. Our veterans should not be forced to wait for care.”

Lawmakers have been looking into the practice of VA hospitals keeping secret lists. Administrators are accused of keeping the secret lists as a bookkeeping trick to make it appear that the wait time for medical appointments is shorter than it really is.

The Kansas City VA Medical Center said in a statement that it is reviewing capacity at the medical center and its community clinics in an effort to expedite care.

“No Veteran should have to wait for the quality health care they have earned and deserve,” the statement read. “This is our top priority.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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