One leaked email from a Philadelphia VA manager outs one VA hospital for trying to encourage Philly VA employees to commit appointment fraud by canceling consult requests put in during the week of Thanksgiving.
Apparently the appointments were not scheduled properly and the glitch is causing a backlog. Rather than do the right thing, numerous employees at the offending hospital, Coatesville VAMC, are encouraging Philly VA employees to help cover-up the failure.
The email from assistant manager Ameen Khabir said, “It has been reported that a number of our employees are getting request[s]” to cancel appointment “due to a glitch” in the scheduling system. The scheduling hickup went unnoticed until February 4, 2016.
Coatesville VAMC employees apparently asked a number of VA employees at Philly to cancel appointments and reschedule them due to another tech glitch. Such cancelation would effectively be the same as what Phoenix VA and other locations perpetrated during the nationwide wait list scandal.
Khabir told his employees to hold their ground and not cancel the appointments due to the scheduling malfunction. “NO ONE SHOULD CANCEL THESE EXAMS AND RESUBMIT THEM,” said Khabir. “We cannot bear the burden of their system failure.”
Coatesville VA Medical Center is located in Pennsylvania about 40 miles outside Philadelphia. My best guess is that someone was off that week for vacation and failed to toggle a switch to ensure the appointments were scheduled within the 30-day recommending window. Now, they are evading accountability by pressuring Philly VA employees to cover their tracks.
How is that for doing the right thing at the Philly VA? Despite the softshoe language that evades finger pointing, I am glad Khabir refused to go along for the ride.
PHILADELPHIA VA CANCELATION EMAIL
From: Khabir, Ameen, VBAPHIL
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 3:00 PM
Subject: Request to cancel & resubmit exam request
Good Afternoon All,
It has been reported that a number of our employees are getting request from staff members at Coatesville VAMC to cancel exam request submitted for the time periods of 11/24/2015 to 11/30/2015. It appears due to a glitch in their systems, exam request submitted during this time period somehow got backed up or stuck somewhere in their systems and was not transmitted to them until today. Consequently, they are requesting we cancel our exams and resubmit them. That is an unfortunate circumstance but NO ONE SHOULD CANCEL THESE EXAMS AND RESUBMIT THEM. We cannot bear the burden of their system failure.
Ameen A. Khabir
Asst. Veterans Service Center Mgr.
Philadelphia VA Regional Office
(215) 842-2000 ext. 4138
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