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Investigator: VA employees told to falsify records

DENVER — Employees at a veterans medical clinic in Colorado were instructed to falsify records to make it appear that patients were getting appointments close to the day requested, government investigators said.

Workers at the Fort Collins clinic were told to make their records show that veterans got appointments within 14 days of the day requested, whether or not it was true, according to a December report by investigators from the Veterans Affairs Department’s medical branch.

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The investigation was first reported Monday by USA Today.

Investigators said they found no evidence that anyone’s health suffered because of the practice. They said the practice violated VA policy but did not break any laws.

The VA is already under criticism over allegations that up to 40 patients may have died because of delays in care at a veterans hospital in Phoenix. On Monday, the American Legion called for the resignations of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and two top aides.

The VA said Shinseki would not resign.

Representative Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican and chairman of the House subcommittee on Veterans Oversight and Investigations, also called on Shinseki to resign, citing the Phoenix allegations and cost overruns at a VA hospital under construction in Denver.

Coffman said the committee would hold hearings on the Phoenix hospital matter.

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